On the polyfunctionality and grammaticalization of the morpheme <i>kai</i> in the Chaozhou dialect

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The morpheme <bi>kai</bi> is among the most frequent and polyfunctional in Chaozhou, a Min dialect of Chinese. The present paper aims to present a descriptive and analytical account of the various functions of <bi>kai</bi> from Chaozhou in order to shed more light on nominalization and the diachronic development of nominalizers. We discuss the use of the morpheme <bi>kai</bi> in classifier, genitive, possessive, pronominal, relative clause marker, nominalizer and sentence-final stance-marking functions. Our data provide further support for some pathways of grammaticalization conjectured or attested in various languages, including the links between adnominal markers and nominalization and between nominalization and stance marking.


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