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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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Complex pronouns in Wu Chinese: Focalization and topicalization

Complex pronouns in Wu Chinese: Focalization and topicalization

Chapter:
(p.226) 9 Complex pronouns in Wu Chinese: Focalization and topicalization
Source:
Diversity in Sinitic Languages
Author(s):

XuPing Li

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723790.003.0009

This chapter presents a case study of grammatical properties of complex pronouns in Wu Chinese, namely the Fuyang dialect, from both the synchronic and diachronic perspectives. The chapter argues that the syntactic context for using complex pronouns is dependent on their information status as topic or focus. A distinction is made between stressed and unstressed complex pronouns: unstressed complex pronouns are restricted to topic positions, either primary or secondary, while stressed ones have no such restriction and can serve as contrastive topic or focus. The chapter proposes that complex pronouns in Fuyang Wu involve a ‘syntactic reanalysis’, being derived from the fusion of the copula and pronouns in cleft sentences and that the fused complex pronouns undergo a grammaticalization process from focalization to topicalization.

Keywords:   complex pronoun, cleft sentence, contrastiveness, focus, topic, Fuyang dialect, Wu dialect, syntactic reanalysis

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