Volume 38, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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Sentential complementation is generally unmarked in Chinese Pidgin English (ChnP). However, around the middle of the 19th century, the word began to be used as a complementizer. This paper focuses on the origins of as a complementizer in ChnP. An examination of and another closely related expression (‘so, like this’) shows that their meanings and functions can largely be attributed to the corresponding expressions in the source languages, namely Cantonese (‘so, like this’) and English in its anaphoric function. As Cantonese and English are not complementizers, it is hypothesized that complementation is the result of reanalysis by which the anaphoric is reinterpreted as a complementizer. It is further argued that the emergence of complementation is facilitated by a common grammaticalization pathway whereby deictic expressions acquire grammatical functions such as that of complementizer.


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