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Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


Depictive in Taiwanese Southern Min

Vol. 32 No. 2   12/2002   


Depictive in Taiwanese Southern Min


Chifa Lien









Key words

depictive, subject-hosted, object-hosted, adjunct, resultative, preverbal, Taiwanese Southern Min, English, temporal order, sequential order, iconicity


       The constructions with the structure Nsub-V-Nobj-ADJ in English can be constructed as adjunct-predicate constructions as well as causatives, resultatives and argument small clauses. For adjunct-predicate constructions referred to as depictives the adjunct-predicate can be subject-hosted, as in Jones fried the potatoes naked, or object-hosted, as in Jones fried the potatoes raw (rapoport 1993ab & 1999). This paper aims at first providing the corresponding constructions to express depictive Taiwanese Southern Min (TSM for short). Depictive in TSM are deployed more transparently as shown in its different sentential patterns: subject hosted adjunct-predicates occur in Nsub-ADJ-V-Nobj, as in A1 Ong7-a2 thiam2-thiam2 tih4 chu2 mi7 阿旺仔悿悿煮麵 ‘Mike cooked the noodle tired’, or Nsub-vadjunct-V-nobj, as in A1 Ong7-a2 chiu2 chui3 tih4 hang1 be2-ling5 chu阿旺仔酒醉烘馬鈴薯 ‘Mike baked sweet potatoes drunk’. Object-hosted adjunct-predicates occur in Nsub-Adj-V-Nobj, as in A1-Bing5 tian7 tian7 chiah8 chhin1 o5-a2 阿明仔定定生吃耗子 ‘Tom often eat the oyster raw’ or the sui generic construction Nsub-CONJ (than3 )-Nobj-ADJ-V, as in A1 Ong7-a than3 thng1 sio1 sio1 lim1‧loh8-khi3 阿旺仔趁湯燒燒飲落去 ‘Mike drank the soup hot’. We can see that the adjunct in depictive occurs after the main verb in English, whereas it is realized preverbally, be it subject-hosted or object-oriented, in TSM.

      The adjunct in a resultative rather a depictive as shown above appears after the object both in English and TSM. Thus, resultatives in TSM also observes the post-verbal constraint in that subject-hosted adjectives emerge as Nsub-V-Nobj-ADJ,  as in A1 Lan5-a lim1 chiu2 chuia 阿蘭仔飲酒醉矣 ‘Lisa became drunk by drinking’, and object-hosted adjectives can be manifested as Nsub-Nobj-V-ADJ, as in I1 thoo5-kha1- sau2 chhing1-khi3 a 伊塗髉掃清氣矣 ‘He swept the floor clean’.

      In sum, despite a difference in internal semantic relation there is no difference in syntactic structure between depictive and resultative in English. By contrast, TSM shows a parallelism between temporal order and word order, viz., the adjunct has to appear before the main verb in depictive and it occurs after the main verb in resultatives. The different semantic structure between the different sentence patterns is in a sense coded in surface word order.



Author: Chinfa Lien
Genre: Article
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