Volume 47, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1810-7478
  • E-ISSN: 2589-5230



This study aims to examine the subtypes of directives and their realization patterns in Taiwanese Southern Min (TSM). The data were drawn from a play script corpus published in the 20th century. Nine directive subtypes were identified: , and . The realization patterns were analyzed in terms of the main components in the directives: alerter, discourse marker, politeness marker, subject, modal expression, verb phrase, and utterance final particle. The analysis reveals a number of features: (1) Alerters mainly take the form of an address term; (2) Utterance-initial discourse markers are mainly realized by ‘now’; (3) The subject is either hearer-dominated or speaker- and hearer-dominated, with the latter expressing solidarity in casual situations; (4) the politeness marker tends to take an overt subject; (5) The modal verb accounts for the majority of subtypes; (6) The dominant verb types include dynamic, stative, uttering, and ingesting verbs; (7) Complex verb constructions mainly include directional verbs, disposal markers, and benefactive verbs; (8) Directional verbs are pervasive across all directives. A metaphorical transfer is operative in the use of directional verbs. Those marking an action toward the speaker (e.g., ‘come’) are strongly associated with a positive attitude, while those expressing movement away from the speaker (e.g., ‘go’) are highly connected to an adversative mood. The omnipresence of [ V] suggests that it has been conventionalized as a default bundle to express politeness.

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