Epistemic, evidential and attitudinal markers in clause-medial position in Cantonese
This paper examines two types of clause-medial stance markers in Cantonese.* We trace the evolution of these stance markers from their lexical origins as complement-taking psych verbs and directional verbs. Similar to English <i>I think</i> parentheticals, the evolution of the Cantonese psych verbs (e.g. <i>gok3dak1 </i>‘feel/think’; <i>paa3 </i>‘fear’; <i>m4zi1</i> ‘don’t know’) involves ‘insubordination’ of the embedded complement clause. However, in Cantonese, subject ellipsis and topic constructions play an important role in the reanalysis of psych verbs into epistemic and negative attitudinal markers in clause-medial position.1 Directional verbs in Cantonese (e.g. <i>faan1 </i>‘return’ and <i>maai4 </i>‘approach’), on the other hand, develop into attitudinal particles via verbal complementation and a disjunctive strategy. Central to the development of both types of stance markers is the first person subject <i>ngo5</i>, whether explicitly or implicitly expressed, which makes the process of subjectification possible.