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Subjectivity encoding in Taiwanese Southern Min

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Abstract

This paper concerns how subjectivity is encoded with a third person singular anaphor through grammaticalization in Taiwanese Southern Min. The case study of constructions hoo7-i1 and khit4hoo7-i1, which consist of the third person singular anaphor i1preceded by a functional marker, hoo7 or khit4hoo7, shows that subjectivity can be construed in terms of the speaker’s mental space for the speaker-hearer distance. The core meaning of hoo7 is ‘to give’, and hoo7 and khit4hoo7 are agentive markers in passive constructions. Hoo7-i1 and khit4hoo7-i1 are undergoing grammaticalization to become speaker-oriented discourse markers. The referent of the third person pronoun in the grammaticalized constructions can no longer be traced in the context. The model of Basic Communicative Space Network (BCSN) (Sanders, Sanders & Sweetser 2009) is adopted to account for how subjectification occurs in grammaticalization. As hoo7-i1 and khit4hoo7-i1 become grammaticalized, they encode the speaker’s perspective toward an event and reflect the Speaker-Hearer relationship.

References

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