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


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.

Share and Cite:

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.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Chen, Q. R., & Wang, J. H. (2010). The Analysis of Multiple Functions in Southern Dialects “YOU”. Language Teaching and Linguistic Studies, 4, 47-55.
[2] Cheng, R. L. W. (1979a). Modality in Taiwanese. Revised Version of Paper to be presented at the 1968 MLA Annual Convention.
[3] Cheng, R. L. W. (1979b). Taiwanese ū and Mandarin YOU. In Papers from the 1979 Asian and Pacific Conference on Lingusitics and Language Teaching, 141-180. Taiwan: Taiwan Student Bookstore Press.
[4] Cheng, S. X. S. (1981). A Study of Tawanese Adjectives. Taipei: Student Book CO., Ltd.
[5] Chu, C. C. H. (2013). The Interpretation of Bare Predicate Adjectives in Modern Mandarin—Where Does Its Comparative Meaning Come From? Paper to be presented at the 21st Annual Conference of the International Association of Chinese Linguistics (IACL), 7th June-9th June 2013, Taipei: National Taiwan Normal University.
[6] Kho, K. T. (2000). Introduction to Taiwanese. Taiwan: Avanguard Publishing Company Press.
[7] Lin, J. X., & Peck, J. (2013). Mandarin Chinese Adjectives—A Perspective of Scale Structure. Paper to be presented at the 21th Annual Conference of the International Association of Chinese Linguistics (IACL), 7th June-9th June 2013. Taipei: National Taiwan Normal University.
[8] Liu, Y. H., Pan, W. Y., & Gu, H. (2001). Pratcial Modern Chinese Grammar. Beijing: The Commercial Ltd Press.
[9] Longacker, R. (1978). The Form and Meaning of the English Auxiliary. Language, 54, 853-882.
[10] Lu, G. C. (2003). An Introduction to Taiwan Southern Min. Taipei: NanTain Bookstrore Press.
[11] Tsao, F. F., & Cheng, Y. (1995). Discuss the Five Uses and Their Relations in Taiwan Southern Min ū. Studies of the Chinese Language, 11, 155-167.
[12] Yang, H. F. (2007). Grammar on Taiwan Southern Min. Taipei: DaAn Publishing Company Press.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.