File Download
Supplementary

Conference Paper: A patient-subject construction in Cantonese

TitleA patient-subject construction in Cantonese
Authors
Issue Date2015
PublisherThe Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Citation
The 20th International Conference on Yue Dialects, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 11-12 December 2015. In Abstract Book, 2015, p. 130-131 How to Cite?
AbstractA novel patient-subject construction (1a) emerged from children’s and adults’ elicited production. Such construction only appeared when the target aimed for an object relative clause with an inanimate subject and an animate object (IA), as shown in (1b), but not in other animacy configurations or relative clauses of other NP types, such as subject relative clauses. (1) a. Patient-subject relative clause: [RC __ 冚住張被]嗰個BB kam2zyu6 zoeng1 pei2 go2go3bi4bi1 cover-CONT CL blanket that CL baby 'the baby being covered by the blanket' b. Target object relative clause with an inanimate subject and an animate object: [RC張被冚住嗰個 zoeng1 pei2 kam2zyu6 go2 go3 bi4bi1 CL blanket cover-CONT __ ] that CL BB baby 'the baby that the blanket is covering' The relative clause in (1a) can be analysed as a subject relative clause based on the main clause in (2). (2) Patient-subject construction: 個BB冚住張被 go3 bi4bi1 kam2zyu6 zoeng1 pei2 CL baby cover-CONT CL blanket 'the baby is being covered by the blanket' The original patient object becomes the subject, whereas the original agent subject becomes the object of the patient-subject construction. The switch of the syntactic positions does not trigger a change in meaning of the predicate event; the original transitive sense, such as the meaning of the sword stabbing the old man in the example, is preserved. There is, however, a slight difference in semantics between the target transitive construction and the patient-subject construction: the latter carries a sense of describing a state experiencing by the target referent, instead of describing the happening of an event, making the patient subject more like an experiencer in the predicate. The construction resembles an unaccusative one with the subject being the patient of the predicate, yet it is not an unaccusative verb as it is not intransitive; it takes an agentive object. It is similar to the passive voice, which promotes the object to the subject position and demotes the subject to lower positions, yet it does not have the appropriate grammatical markings for passive voice; it is not marked by bei2, and neither does the agent become an oblique object. It also resembles locative inversion, as suggested by the verb often marked by the continuous aspect zyu6, yet it is not necessarily marked by zyu6. This paper explores the nature of the patient-subject construction. By scrutinizing the properties of the construction in detail, it aims to identify what kind of verb construction exactly is the construction with a transitive verb taking a patient subject and an agent object.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/226653

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLau, E-
dc.contributor.authorMatthews, SJ-
dc.date.accessioned2016-06-17T07:45:36Z-
dc.date.available2016-06-17T07:45:36Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationThe 20th International Conference on Yue Dialects, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 11-12 December 2015. In Abstract Book, 2015, p. 130-131-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/226653-
dc.description.abstractA novel patient-subject construction (1a) emerged from children’s and adults’ elicited production. Such construction only appeared when the target aimed for an object relative clause with an inanimate subject and an animate object (IA), as shown in (1b), but not in other animacy configurations or relative clauses of other NP types, such as subject relative clauses. (1) a. Patient-subject relative clause: [RC __ 冚住張被]嗰個BB kam2zyu6 zoeng1 pei2 go2go3bi4bi1 cover-CONT CL blanket that CL baby 'the baby being covered by the blanket' b. Target object relative clause with an inanimate subject and an animate object: [RC張被冚住嗰個 zoeng1 pei2 kam2zyu6 go2 go3 bi4bi1 CL blanket cover-CONT __ ] that CL BB baby 'the baby that the blanket is covering' The relative clause in (1a) can be analysed as a subject relative clause based on the main clause in (2). (2) Patient-subject construction: 個BB冚住張被 go3 bi4bi1 kam2zyu6 zoeng1 pei2 CL baby cover-CONT CL blanket 'the baby is being covered by the blanket' The original patient object becomes the subject, whereas the original agent subject becomes the object of the patient-subject construction. The switch of the syntactic positions does not trigger a change in meaning of the predicate event; the original transitive sense, such as the meaning of the sword stabbing the old man in the example, is preserved. There is, however, a slight difference in semantics between the target transitive construction and the patient-subject construction: the latter carries a sense of describing a state experiencing by the target referent, instead of describing the happening of an event, making the patient subject more like an experiencer in the predicate. The construction resembles an unaccusative one with the subject being the patient of the predicate, yet it is not an unaccusative verb as it is not intransitive; it takes an agentive object. It is similar to the passive voice, which promotes the object to the subject position and demotes the subject to lower positions, yet it does not have the appropriate grammatical markings for passive voice; it is not marked by bei2, and neither does the agent become an oblique object. It also resembles locative inversion, as suggested by the verb often marked by the continuous aspect zyu6, yet it is not necessarily marked by zyu6. This paper explores the nature of the patient-subject construction. By scrutinizing the properties of the construction in detail, it aims to identify what kind of verb construction exactly is the construction with a transitive verb taking a patient subject and an agent object.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe Chinese University of Hong Kong.-
dc.relation.ispartofIntenational Conference on Yue Dialects-
dc.relation.ispartof第二十屆國際粵方言研討會-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.titleA patient-subject construction in Cantonese-
dc.typeConference_Paper-
dc.identifier.emailLau, E: elaine02@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.emailMatthews, SJ: matthews@hkucc.hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityMatthews, SJ=rp01207-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.hkuros258227-
dc.identifier.spage130-
dc.identifier.epage131-
dc.publisher.placeHong Kong-

Export via OAI-PMH Interface in XML Formats


OR


Export to Other Non-XML Formats