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Restructuring Taiwan Southern Min ū “HAVE” in Adjectival Predicate Constructions

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DOI: 10.4236/ojml.2014.45059    3,937 Downloads   4,333 Views  
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ABSTRACT

It has been widely discussed that Taiwan Southern Min ū “HAVE” (hereafter TSM ū “HAVE”) allows adjectival predicates as its complements, such as Kaka ū suí “Kaka is beautiful”. Besides, TSM ū “HAVE” in this kind of construction is analysed as an emphatic-assertive marker; however, there are quite few studies concerning whether it can select any adjectival predicates as its complements or has any restrictions. I hence investigate whether TSM ū “HAVE” has any restrictions by five tests: (a) mono/disyllabic adjectives, (b) reduplicated adjectives, (c) degree adverbs, (d) comparative morpheme khah “COMP/more” and (e) measure phrases with adjective phrases. Finally, I claim that TSM ū “HAVE” cannot select closed-scale adjectives, non-predicative adjectives and the reduplicated adjectives as its complements. Also, TSM ū “HAVE” is incompatible with degree words, which express the intensified readings, whereas the comparative morpheme khah “COMP/more” can repair those ungrammatical sentences by means of denoting a comparative reading. Finally, the adjectival predicates can be modified by measure phrases like Mandarin Chinese. In conclusion, TSM ū “HAVE” actually cannot select any types of adjectives and it does have the restriction incompatible with the intensified degree adverbs.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Zheng, Z. (2014) Restructuring Taiwan Southern Min ū “HAVE” in Adjectival Predicate Constructions. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 4, 687-700. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2014.45059.

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