Post-Verbal Markers in Taiwanese Southern Min and Fuzhounese

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2011-07-??

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英語學系
Department of English, NTNU

Abstract

This paper deals with the post-verbal markers in two Min dialects—TIT-construction in Taiwanese Southern Min (TSM) and LI-construction in Fuzhounese.The objective is to see if these markers have modal meanings, like de (得) in Mandarin Chinese (e.g., gan-DE-shang 趕得上, ‘to be match for’). The verb e7/e53 (會, ‘can’) and TIT8 / LI24 serves as circumfixes of verbs, and the output construction [e7/e53 + Verb + TIT8/LI24] indicates potentiality (or possibility). After undergoing lexicalization, [e7/e53 + Verb + TIT8/LI24] turns into an integral (a unity) and can be followed by other predicates. The constructional meaning is interpreted as either permission or potentiality. The combination of e7/e53 (‘can’) and TIT8/LI24 can also be an infix-likeelement which tails after the main verb and directs to complements. There is no real post-verbal modal word in TSM and Fuzhounese. In order to convey modality (potentiality), it is necessary to attach e7/e53 (‘can’) or its negative counterpart be7/me53 (‘cannot’) in front of the main predicate and to attach TIT8/LI24 after the main predicate.

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