Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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This report presents a case study on a current grammatical change in a rhetorical question 不是…吗 (isn’t it the case…?) and its spreading from spoken Beijing Mandarin to Mandarin Chinese in general. The study addresses three interrelated issues that concern the development and spreading of this new pattern: (1) usage-based language variation and change in spoken Beijing Mandarin; (2) Socio-cultural factors that may have promoted the adaptation of the new pattern in Mandarin Chinese; and (3) the impact of media, which may enhance the rapid spreading of the pattern in China. The report offers another instance of usage as the main driving force leading to language variation and grammaticalization.

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