1887
Volume 20, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1606-822X
  • E-ISSN: 2309-5067
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Abstract

Abstract

One way to classify person systems across languages is by means of the semantic category of person and/or number, where person forms, with distinct referential values, are supposed to be in complementary distribution to each other. However, when we look into some finer details in a language-particular person system, i.e. that of the Puxian dialect in Chinese, there are person forms or expressions that are engaged in supplementary distribution and have meanings beyond what is literally said (Grice 1989). Different from previous approaches, which tended to analyze a person system into separate domains of study, e.g. reflexivity, intensification, logophoricity, empathy, etc., the author proposes that all the person-related meanings (semantics & pragmatics) constitute a “function inventory”, which has a stable structure called “inventory structure”. In the structure, each of the overtly expressed person meanings is assigned to a choice of node, from which multiple outcomes can be developed. The significance of this approach is that it tries to circumvent some pre-established categories and focuses instead on meaningful differences in a system (Sausurre 1983).

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2019-09-24
2019-10-14
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): functional inventory , inventory structure , person and Puxian dialect
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