Volume 51, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2451-828x
  • E-ISSN: 2451-8298
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


Recent studies on Chinese language use show that the rapid development of Internet communication in China has created a new linguistic variety, Chinese Internet language (CIL). Marked with innovations and catch words, CIL is officially branded as 平民化 (‘grassroots,’ ‘ordinary’), 低门槛 (‘low-standard,’ ‘vulgar’) ( 2012: 205). Nevertheless, the new usages in CIL have attracted tremendous attention; prominent among them is the usage of 被 - XX. In Modern Chinese grammar, is a preposition followed by an agent ( + agent + verb) in passive sentences. However, since the news broke out that Prisoner Li Guofu died in a prison hospital and was announced as “a suicide” by the administration in 2008, the usage of 被自杀 (to be presumably murdered) started to appear in the Internet and was soon analogized; consequently, numerous new usages of -XX swept through the media like wildfire. Taking the grammaticalization approach (Hopper and Traugott 2003), this study intends to explore the semantic changes, linguistic features, and grammatical role of in the -XX construction. It examines the historical development of in the grammaticalization process and evaluates previous and recent analyses associated with it. Drawing on data from China’s national annual reports entitled 《中国语言生活状况报告》 (2005 to 2013) and online CIL publications, the study proposes an alternative analysis of in the -XX construction and predicts that this new will become an established prefix in the Chinese language and, further, create large word families with -XX as the blueprint.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Brinton, Laurel J. and Elizabeth Closs Traugott
    (2006) Lexicalization and Language Change. Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Cao, Wei
    . 曹炜 (2010) 《现代汉语词汇研究》(Modern Chinese Etymology). 广州:暨南大学出版社Guangzhou: Jinan University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Chao, Y.R
    (1968) A grammar of spoken Chinese. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
    (1997), 3rd ed.; 2012, 6th ed. 《现代汉语词典》(Modern Chinese Dictionary). Beijing: The Commercial Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Fan, X
    . 范晓 (2007) 关于“被”字句谓语动词的语义特征 (The semantic function and denotation of bei construction).邵敬敏,张先亮 主编In Shao Jing-Ming & Zhang Xian-Liang (Eds.),《汉语语法研究的新拓展》 ( New developments of Chinese grammar ) (pp. 375–391). 东北师范大学出版社Northeastern Teachers University press.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Fang, Y
    . 房玉清 (1998) 《实用汉语语法》 (Chinese pedagogy grammar). 北京:北京语言文化大学Beijing: Beijing Language and Culture University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Gao, L
    (2012) Synchronic variation or diachronic change: A sociolinguistic study of Chinese internet language. In J. Liu & H. Tao (Eds.), Chinese under globalization: Emerging trends in language use in China (pp. 7–28). New Jersey: World Scientific Publishing Company. doi: 10.1142/9789814350709_0002
    https://doi.org/10.1142/9789814350709_0002 [Google Scholar]
  8. Givon, T
    (1979) On understanding grammar. New York, NY: Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Hopper, P.J. , & Traugott, E.C
    (2003) Grammaticalization (2nd ed.). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781139165525
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139165525 [Google Scholar]
  10. Hu, Zhiyong
    . 胡志勇 (2011).《汉英新词新语新编》 (A Chinese-English new words and expressions, abridged version). 上海:学林出版社Shanghai: Xuelin Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Huang, C-T.J. , & Liu, N
    (2014) 新兴非典型被动式“被XX”的句法与语义结构 (The Syntax and Semantics of the New Non-cannonical bei XX Construction).《语言科学》Language Science, 13(5), 225–241.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Jiang, Zongxu
    . 蒋宗许 (2009).《汉语词缀研究》 (Study on Chinese affixes). 成都:四川出版社集团巴蜀书社Chengdu: Sichuan Publishing Corp.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Li, C
    (2007) Evolution of the bei constructions in Chinese. Journal of Chinese Linguistics, 35(1), 98–127.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Li, C.N. , & Thompson, S.A
    (1976) Subject and topic: A new typology of language. In C.N. Li (Ed.), Subject and Topic (pp. 457–490). New York: Academic Press, Inc.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. (1981) Mandarin Chinese: A functional reference grammar. Berkeley: University of California Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Li, Yuming
    . 李宇明 (1999) 词语模 (Word-formation blueprint). 邢福义主编 《汉语语法特点面面观》In Xing Fu-yi (Ed.), (Perspectives of Chinese grammar). 北京:北京语言大学出版社. Beijing: Beijing Language and Culture University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Liu, Yuehua 刘月华, Pan Wenyu 潘文娛, & Gu Wei
    故韡 (2001).《实用现代汉语语法》 (The practical modern Chinese grammar). 北京:商务印书馆Beijing: The Commercial Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Lü, Shuxiang
    . 呂叔湘 (1979).《汉语语法分析问题》 (Issues in Chinese grammar analysis). 北京:商务印书馆Beijing: The Commercial Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. McEnery, T. , Xiao, R. , & Qian, Y
    (2006) Passive constructions in English and Chinese: A corpus-based contrastive study. Language in Contrast, 6(1), 109–149. doi: 10.1075/lic.6.1.05xia
    https://doi.org/10.1075/lic.6.1.05xia [Google Scholar]
  20. Shi, D
    (1997) Issues on Chinese passive. Journal of Chinese Linguistics, 2591, 41–70.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Sun, Changxu
    . 孙常叙 (2010).《汉语词汇》 (Chinese Lexicology). 北京:商务印书Beijing: The Commercial Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Sun, Xin’ai
    . 孙新爱 (2007) 对现代汉语词缀问题的几点思考 (Thoughts on the development of Modern Chinese prefixes and suffixes). 《燕山大学国际教育学院学报》Journal of Yanshan University (Philosophy and Social Science edition), 8(3), 80–84.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Teng, S
    (1974) Double nominatives in Chinese: A case for sentence predicate. Language50(3), 455–473. doi: 10.2307/412218
    https://doi.org/10.2307/412218 [Google Scholar]
  24. Tsao, F
    (1979) A Functional Study of Topic in Chinese: The First Step Towards Discourse Analysis. Taipei: Student Book Co., Ltd.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. (1990) Sentence and clause structure in Chinese: A functional perspective. Taipei: Student Book Co., Ltd.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Wang, Li
    . 王力 (2011) 《中国现代语法》 (The Modern Chinese grammar. Reprinted.) 北京: 商务图书馆Beijing: The Commercial Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Wang, Junxi
    . 王均熙 (2010).《汉语新词词典》(Dictionary of Modern Chinese New Words, 2005-2010). 上海:学林出版社Shanghai: Xuelin Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Wang, Ziqiang
    . 王自强 (1998).《现代汉语虚词词典》(Dictionary of Function Words in Modern Chinese). 上海:辞书出版社Shanghai: Lexicography Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Wonznick, A.M
    (201Ï5) River-crabbed Shitizens and missing Knives: A sociolinguistic analysis of trends in Chinese language use online as a result of Censorship. Applied Linguistics Review, 6(1), 97–121.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Xiao, Y
    (2015) The rise of Chinese internet language: Product and agent of globalization from below. Global Chinese: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal of the Chinese Language and its Users Worldwide, 1(1), 111–138.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Xing, Fuyi 邢福义& Wang Guosheng
    汪国胜 (2008) 《现代汉语语法修辞》 ( Modern Chinese grammar and rhetorics ). 北京: 高等教育出版社Beijing: The Higher Education Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Yang, Wenquan
    杨文全 (2011) 《当代汉语词汇衍生变异研究》 (The development and change of contemporary Chinese words). 成都:四川出版集团 Chengdu: Sichuan Publishing Company.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Yang, Xiaoping
    . 杨小平 (2012) 《当代汉语新词新语研究》 (New words and usages in contemporary Chinese). 北京: 中国社会科学出版社Beijing: The Academy of Chinese Social Sciences Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Yang, Yifei
    . 杨一飞 (2007) 新兴三音节准前缀词的性质,功能与发展(Properties, functions and development of pseudo prefixes in the new Chinese 3-morepheme usages). 《语言科学》Linguistics Science, 6(1), 18–57.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Yin, Guoguang 殷国光 Long Guofu 龙国富,& Zhao Tong
    , 赵彤.(2011) 《汉语史纲要》 ( The Outline of the History of Mandarin Chinese ). 北京:中国人民大学出版社Beijing: The Chinese People’s University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error