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Ditransitive constructions in Gan Chinese

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Abstract

This paper studies ditransitive constructions in Gan Chinese, one of the seven main Chinese language families. Gan dialects have the ‘inverted’ double object construction, as schematized in the order of “verb-DO-IO” (DO stands for direct object and IO for indirect object), as contrasted with the ‘canonical’ double object construction in Mandarin, such as “verb-IO-DO”. According to Zhang (2010), there is no GIVE verb in Gan dialects and they use verbs like take, hold, and obtain in ditransitive constructions instead. On the basis of Zhang, we claim that ditransitives in Gan are often realized by the serial verb construction of V-DO-Directional-IO and that its inverted double object construction is derived from this sequence by deleting a directional element. We diverge from Zhang in claiming that these TAKE-HOLD verbs have developed into three-place predicates, which can be considered as genuine general-purpose GIVE verbs in Gan.

References

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