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Diachrony and Typology in Chinese Grammar

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1 Diachrony and Typology in Chinese Grammar
Alain PEYRAUBE 贝罗贝 CNRS & EHESS New Directions in Historical Linguistics ESF-OMLL Workshop Lyon, France, May 2008

2 Diachronic Syntax (1) Evolution of grammatical forms throughout history Three mechanisms of grammatical change: - Analogy, comprising Degrammaticalization (typically Lexicalization) - Reanalysis, comprising: Grammaticalization Exaptation - External Borrowing

3 Diachronic Syntax (2) Motivating factors of syntactic change
Semantic-pragmatic change, especially: Pragmatic inferencing (metonymization, more related to reanalysis) Metaphorical extension (more related to analogy) Subjectification Others, such as phonological change The main motivation for external borrowing is language contact

4 Diachrony / Typology None of these diachronic mechanisms and/or motivations involve typological research strictly defined to any extent, except perhaps external borrowing.

5 Typology Identify structural properties that different languages share (universals), as well as the significant properties which distinguish one from another Consequence by extension = « a principle way of classifying the languages of the world » (Hagège 1992)

6 What connects the two domains?
Simply the fact that diachronic linguistics often enables us to provide grounded hypotheses about the common properties which Sinitic languages share, or more often, the basic differences which are revealed between them.  Examples: passives and causatives; postverbal adverbs; ditransitive constructions; verbs of saying

7 Passives and causatives (1)
In many contemporary Sinitic languages, verbs of giving are the main source for passive markers. Verbs of giving which develop into passive markers might even be a characteristic shared with certain languages in East and Southeast Asia from different families (Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman languages). The development of verbs of giving into passive markers is typologically atypical. It is not attested crosslinguistically. See Heine and Kuteva (2002).

8 Passives and causatives (2)
Shared passive and causative morphology is certainly not uncommon but the source of the exponents is not a verb of giving (Comrie and Polinsky 1993). Chappell & Peyraube (2006): all passive markers having their source in verbs of giving have an intermediate stage of a causative verb (see also Jiang Shaoyu 2002, Hong and Zhao forthcoming): V [+ give] > V [+ causative] > passive marker

9 Passives and causatives (3)
Proposal of an implicational universal: If a language has a passive marker whose origin is a verb of giving, then it necessarily has a causative verb realised by the same form and having its source in a verb of giving. [GIVE > PASSIVE MARKER]  [GIVE > CAUSATIVE]

10 Passives and causatives (4)
Hypothesis grounded on historical data: all passive markers (originating from a verb of giving) used today in Sinitic languages have been first used as causative verbs in Medieval or Modern Chinese: Yŭ 與 ‘to give’, which is probably the first to have been used as a passive marker (Feng 2000 : 638); zháo/zhuó 著(着)‘to place, to use, then to give’, qĭ 乞 ‘to give’, begins to be used as a causative verb in Early Modern Mandarin, gĕi 给 (18th century, see Jiang L. 2000: 226).

11 Passives and causatives (5)
Examples: With the verb qĭ 乞 ‘to give’ : 乞 我 惶了推門推不開 qĭ wŏ huáng le, tuī mén tuī bù kai caus 1sg frighten pfv push door push neg open ‘(It) made me so frightened (that I) could not open the door.’ (Jīn Píng Méi Cíhuà 金 瓶 梅 詞 話, 16th c.)

12 Passives and causatives (6)
With the verb zhuó著 ‘to give’ In the Lăo Qĭ Dà 老乞大 (14th c.), 51% of the verbal zhuó are causatives with the meaning of ‘to ask’, ‘to tell somebody to do something’: 我著孩子們 做與你吃 wŏ zhuó haízimen zuò yǔ nĭ chī 1SG CAUS children do give 2SG eat ‘I’ll get my children to make you something to eat.’(Lăo Qĭ Dà Yánjiĕ 老乞大諺解)

13 Postverbal adverbs (1) Postverbal adverbs in Cantonese: sin ‘first’, jyuh ‘for the moment’, gwo ‘again’, tim ‘also, more’, maaih ‘also, more, again’, saai ‘all, completely’, jaih ‘too’ Ngoh heui sin I go first Maih yuk jyuh Don’t move now! Pin mahnjeung se hou saai la CL article write finish completely part. The article is completely written

14 Postverbal adverbs (2) Postverbal adverbs never existed at any stage in the history of Chinese. Adverbs have always been preverbal, in Archaic, Medieval, as well as in Modern Chinese => impossible to propose any hypothesis of internal change Only remaining possible hypothesis: external borrowing

15 Postverbal adverbs (3) Postverbal adverbs in Kam-Tai languages
ha35 so:24 an24 tem35 give two CL again Give me two more (Zhuang, a Tai language, Li 1990) ta:p7 kon5 Jump first (Sui, a Kam-Sui language, Zhang 1980)

16 Postverbal adverbs (4) Postverbal adverbs in Miao-Yao languages
ken55 va44 Cry a lot (Miao, Qiandong language, Wang 1985) kau2 mu4 te2 you go first (Yao, Bunu language, Mao 1982)

17 Postverbal adverbs (5) Two competing hypotheses:
Kam-Tai and/or Miao-Yao languages might have borrowed their postverbal adverbs from Cantonese => the origin of Cantonese postverbal adverbs remains unexplained Cantonese might have borrowed postverbal adverbs from Kam-Tai or Miao-Yao (or more probably from Yao, see Dai 1992)

18 Ditransitive constructions (1)
In Standard Chinese (Mandarin), the word order of ditransitive constructions is V + IO + DO: Wo gei ni yiben shu I give you one+Cl. Book I give you one book In some Southern Sinitic languages (Cantonese): reverse order: Ngoh bei yatbun syu neih I give one book you

19 Ditransitive constructions (2)
Two possible historical explanations: External Borrowing Hypothesis: The V+DO+IO construction has been borrowed from non-Sinitic languages (Tai-Kadai, Austroasiatic) with which Cantonese and other Southern Sinitic languages have been in contact (Hashimoto 1976, Peyraube 1981) Derivation through Internal Development: V + IO + DO > V + DO + IO or V + DO + Prep. + IO > V + DO + IO

20 Ditransitive constructions (3)
Xu and Peyraube (1997) have shown that the deletion of the dative preposition is probably the correct hypothesis Contra the External Borrowing Hypothesis Other non-Cantonese dialects have V+ DO+IO and were probably not in contact with any Tai languages, eg: Hubei dialects of Enshi, Badong, Dangyang, Jingmen, Jiangling, … Anhui dialects of Tongcheng, Anqing, Wuhu

21 Ditransitive constructions (4)
In Ancient Thai (13th c.): V + DO + Prep.+IO Not a single piece of evidence to show that the DO could have moved backward across the IO or the IO could have moved forward acroos the DO Almost any verb that can appear in V+DO+Prep.+IO can also appear in V+DO+IO A pause often occurs between the DO and the IO

22 Ditransitive constructions (5)
Case of a structure unknown in Standard Chinese (Mandarin, Northern Chinese) and rare in Archaic, Medieval and Modern Chinese Not borrowed from non-Sinitic languages, but is internally derived

23 Verbs of saying (1) S - V1 - V2say Oclause > S - V1- Comp. Oclause
grammaticalization of say verbs > complementizers - well-known for African and Southeast Asian languages (Heine and Kuteva 2002) not very well-attested in the study of the Sinitic or Chinese languages S - V1 - V2say Oclause > S - V1- Comp. Oclause

24 Verbs of saying (2) Colloquial Beijing dialect :
有很多人,他们就认为说这得政府给我们解决, …. You hen duo ren, tamen jiu renwei shuo zhe dei zhengfu gei women jiejue … there:be very many people 3PL then think saycomp this must government for 1PL resolve ‘Lots of people, they think that this has to resolved for us by the government.’ (oral corpus)

25 Verbs of saying (3) Pre-Archaic and Early Archaic:
言 yan, 云 yun, 曰 yue (already in Oracle bone inscriptions), 语 yu (in Bronze inscriptions): 4 verbs of saying Late Archaic:谓 wei, 说 shuo, 道 dao Shuo and dao very rare with the meaning of ‘to say’. Shuo = to explain, dao = to discuss

26 Verbs of saying (4) A good scenario for the grammaticalization of verbs [+ say] > Complementizers (Chappell, Li Ming and Peyraube, forthc.) Several verbs [+ say] have acquired the meaning of « think » (以为 yiwei). Among them: 言 yan, under the Six Dynasties (ca. 5th c. AD) 云 yun, under the Six Dynasties 道 dao, in Pre-Modern (ca. 14th c. AD) Semantic change: [+ say] > « to consider » > « to think »

27 Verbs of saying (5) The complementizer does not come directly from a verb [+ say], but from a cognitive verb meaning « to think », « to believe » Semantic change as follows: SAY > CONSIDER > THINK > COMPLEMENTIZER This last development is part of a grammaticalization process which did not take place before 17th or 18th century.

28 References (1) Chappell H. & A. Peyraube The Analytic Causatives of Early Modern Southern Min in Diachronic Perspective. D.-A. Ho, H.S. Cheung, W. Pan, F. Wu eds. Linguistic studies in Chinese and neighboring languages. Taiwan: Academia Sinica, Institute of Linguistics Chappell H., Li M. & A. Peyraube. Forthcoming. Polygrammaticalization of say verbs in Sinitic languages. Comrie B. & M. Polinsky (eds.) Causatives and transitivity. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Dai Q. et al Introduction to contacts between Chinese and minorities languages. Zhongyuan minzu xueyuan. [in Chinese] Feng C Grammr of Chinese of the modern period. Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe. [in Chinese]

29 References (2) Hagège C Morphological Typology. Oxford Int. Encycl. of Linguistics. OUP. Hashimoto M The double object construction in Chinese. Computational Analyses of Asia and African Languages Heine, B. &T. Kuteva Language contact and grammatical change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hong B. & Zhao M. Forthcoming. On verbs of giving developing into causative verbs and causative verbs developing into passive prepositions. [in Chinese] Jiang L Discussion on the common use of causatives and passives in Chinese. Outline of Modern Chinese. Beijing: Shangwu yinshuguan [in Chinese]

30 References (3) Jiang S Origin of the passive markers ‘gei’ and ‘jiao’. Yuyanxue luncong [in Chinese] Li J Cantonese is different from other types of Chinese. Yuyan jianshe tongxun [in Chinese] Mao Z Monograph of the Yao languages. Beijing: Minzu chubanshe. [in Chinese] Peyraube A The Dative Construction in Cantonese. Computational Analyses on Asian and African Languages Wang F Monograph of the Miao languages. Beijing: Minzu chubanshe. [in Chinese] Xu L. & A. Peyraube On the Double-Object Construction and the Oblique Construction in Cantonese. Studies in Language Zhang J Monograph of Sui language. Beijing: Minzu chubanshe. [in Chinese]

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