On the emergence of the inverted double object construction in Hakka
Jui-chuan Yeh 叶瑞娟
This paper aims to explicate the emergence of the inverted double object construction in Hakka by examining diachronic and dialectal data. The uses of BUN in the Basel texts exhibit the characteristics of the ditransitive ‘give’ which is evidently traceable to a monotransitive handling verb. Pieces of evidence are presented to verify the hypothesis that the inverted double object construction was derived from the dative construction by preposition deletion. The ellipsis of the preposition was triggered by the semantic overlap between the meaning of the construction and that of the preposition, instead of by haplology or high usage frequency of the dative construction. The verbs in this construction have to keep in low in type frequency in order to achieve higher semantic coherence, which will in turn accelerate the rise of the new construction. Under this view, the limited distribution of verbs in this construction across Hakka dialects follows automatically.
Subject Keywords 主题词
Hakka 客家话 Inverted double object construction 倒置双宾式 Basel texts 巴色会文献 Giving verb 给予动词 Semantic coherence 语意连贯性
Journal of Chinese Linguistics vol.48, no.2 (June 2020): 342-378
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