Volume 30, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0929-998X
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9765
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When a ‘say’ clause is combined with a quoted-speech clause, one of two hypothetical pathways may be followed: (a) a complementation pathway on which the ‘say’ clause takes the quoted-speech clause as its complement clause and thus becomes its matrix clause; (b) a conjoining pathway which involves no syntactic operation but rather the loss of a prosodic gap between the two. Following the second pathway, ‘say’ may become grammaticalized into a quotative particle. On neither pathway is ‘say’ grammaticalized into a complementizer. It is proposed that cross-linguistically so-called ‘say’ complementizers, including the alleged Chinese complementizer , are more likely to be not complementizers but rather quotative particles.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): complementizer; quotative particle; shuō; ‘say’ verb
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