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Diversity in Sinitic Languages$
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Hilary M. Chappell

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198723790

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723790.001.0001

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Comparative constructions of inequality in the Southern Min dialect of Hui’an

Comparative constructions of inequality in the Southern Min dialect of Hui’an

Chapter:
(p.248) 10 Comparative constructions of inequality in the Southern Min dialect of Hui’an
Source:
Diversity in Sinitic Languages
Author(s):

Weirong Chen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723790.003.0010

This chapter examines comparative constructions of inequality in the Southern Min dialect of Hui’an, a variety of Southern Min spoken in Hui’an County in Fujian province of China. Six structurally different types of comparative are identified, most of which have a limited distribution in Sinitic languages. These comparatives are next examined in terms of syntactic configuration and semantic properties, mainly based on data from naturally occurring conversations. The investigation shows that the double-marking comparative involving the dependent marker 比‎and the head marker khaɁ7恰‎is the most common in the Hui’an dialect, whereas the comparative, the dominant type in Sinitic languages, is the least frequent. The chapter hypothesizes that the marker khaɁ7 may involve syntactic reanalysis from a degree adverb ‘a bit, fairly’ to a formal marker of the comparative. The sources of other comparative markers used in Hui’an are similarly examined.

Keywords:   comparative constructions of inequality, Southern Min, double-marking comparative, short comparative, Action schema, Surpass verb

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