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Old Chinese Syntax: Basic Word Order

(4,306 words)

Author(s): Edith ALDRIDGE
This lemma summarizes the principle characteristics of Old Chinese word order from the late Spring and Autumn period to the end of the Warring State…
Date: 2017-03-02

Ergativity and Unaccusativity

(4,058 words)

Author(s): Edith ALDRIDGE
The main goal of this lemma is to summarize how the term “ergativity” has been used in analyzing aspects of Chinese syntax. In the typological literature, “ergativity” typically refers to the patterning of transitive objects with intransitive subjects for the purposes of case-marking and certain syntactic operations like relative clause formation. The term “ergativity” is also sometimes used to refer to an alternation between the transitive and intransitive use of a verb in which the ar…
Date: 2017-03-02

Wh-questions, Premodern

(2,230 words)

Author(s): Edith ALDRIDGE
This article introduces the basic structural characteristics of wh-questions in Late Archaic Chinese (approximately 5th–3rd cents. BCE) and the principle changes in Middle Chinese which led to the emergence of modern Chinese wh-questions. The lemma also briefly summarizes the emergence of the most common wh-words in use in modern Mandarin. 1. Late Archaic Chinese Wáng (1958) divides Late Archaic Chinese wh-words into three classes, depending on the initial consonant in the reconstructed forms.  1. a. shéi 誰 [*ʑɪ̆wəi] ‘who’, shú 孰 [*ʑɪ̆wəuk] ‘which’   b. 何 [*ɣa] ‘what’,
Date: 2017-03-02