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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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Linguistic areas in China for differential object marking, passive, and comparative constructions

Linguistic areas in China for differential object marking, passive, and comparative constructions

Chapter:
(p.13) 2 Linguistic areas in China for differential object marking, passive, and comparative constructions
Source:
Diversity in Sinitic Languages
Author(s):

Hilary M. Chappell

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723790.003.0002

This chapter sets out to demonstrate the great diversity to be found in Sinitic languages from both angles of morphosyntax and grammaticalization. The aim of the chapter is to see if it is possible to discern linguistic areas within China on the basis of differences in differential object marking, passive, and comparative constructions. The chapter tentatively proposes that, in terms of grammatical behaviour, at least five principal areas exist in China, as opposed to a simple North–South division proposed in earlier studies: in addition to the Northern area, the South is split into three areas of the Southwestern, the Far Southern, and the Southeastern. Furthermore, in between North and South China lies an intermediate zone, aptly named the Central Transitional area, which shows considerable turbulence in its typological features.

Keywords:   linguistic area, differential object marking, passive, inequality comparative, diversity, typology, Sinitic, Chinese dialect, causative, agent marker

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