Volume 47, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1810-7478
  • E-ISSN: 2589-5230
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Contra the conventional four-way distinction of syntactically-formed questions in Taiwan Southern Min (TSM): (i) yes-no, (ii) A-not-A, (iii) disjunctive, and (iv) -questions (e.g., Lau 2010a), we justify a more revealing dichotomy of confirmation-seeking (CS) polar questions and information-seeking (IS) constituent questions, based on a suite of semantic and syntactic tests proposed in extensive literature for Mandarin and adapted further for TSM, where A-not-A belongs to the disjunctive type, which is in turn a subcategory of IS constituent questions. Controversies over the proper status of some sentence-final question particles and questions are also deliberated. Dismissing some alleged polar question particles as polar or A-not-A tags, we recognize and as interrogative polar particles. We also show that has two underlying forms. One is a portmanteau word of the modal and the negator and thus forms a disjunctive question (Huang 1988a1991). However, when is short for ‘don’t tell me’, similar to the Mandarin , it appears in a polar question.


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