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Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1876-1933
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Abstract

Abstract

This paper suggests that ‘some’ in Mandarin Chinese originated as a quantifier but became a classifier in the ‘one’ construction via , or in diachronic construction grammar. This change has created , semantically equivalent to , therefore it is also a case of reinforcement in the sense of Jespersen’s Cycle. However, this study argues that has not necessarily undergone grammaticalisation. Generalising the analysis, two types of reinforcement are proposed: reinforcement by innovation and by realignment. The former involves grammaticalisation, but the latter may not. The study highlights the importance of higher-level generalisations in language change.

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2020-10-30
2020-11-27
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