This paper investigates the development of the copula shì construction in Chinese from the perspective of diachronic construction grammar (Traugott & Trousdale 2013). In prior work the development has been conceptualized in a grammaticalization framework, with focus on the individual expression shì, rather than on its development in the context of both the immediate syntactic frame and also of other constructions such as the demonstrative shì construction and the copula wéi construction. We show that the copula shì construction went through various types of expansion and reduction. The change was not unidirectional in the way predicted by a grammaticalization model such as is proposed in e.g. Lehmann (1995, 2004) and Haspelmath (2004).
2.The perspectives on grammar and change adopted
2.3Comparison of constructionalization with grammaticalization
3.Data and methodology
4.The development of the copula shì
4.1The copula shì in Modern Chinese
4.2The situation in Archaic Chinese
4.3The emergence of the copula shì construction
4.4Probable motivations and mechanisms for constructionalization of shì as a copula
5.Expansion of the copula shì construction
5.1The gain of the copula shì construction and reduction of the copula wéi construction
5.2The increase of adverbs preceding shì
5.3Generalization of the copula shì construction without final particle
1991Grammaticalization: A conceptual framework. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Heine, Bernd & Tania Kuteva
2002World lexicon of grammaticalization. Cambridge: CUP.
1992Dynamic biogeography. New York, NY: CUP.
Higgins, Roger Francis
1979The pseudo-cleft construction in English. New York, NY: Garland.
2013Constructional change in English: Developments in allomorphy, word-formation and syntax. Cambridge: CUP.
Hilpert, Martin & Stefan Th. Gries
2016Quantitative approaches to diachronic corpus linguistics. In Merja Kytö & Päivi Pahta (eds.), The Cambridge handbook of English historical linguistics, 36–53. Cambridge: CUP.
Himmelmann, Nikolaus P.
2004Lexicalization and grammaticization: Opposite or orthogonal? In Walter Bisang, Nikolaus P. Himmelmann & Björn Wiemer (eds.), What makes grammaticalization: A look from its fringes and its components, 21–42. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Hoffmann, Thomas & Graeme Trousdale
2013aIntroduction. In Thomas Hoffmann & Graeme Trousdale (eds.), 1–12.
Hoffmann, Thomas & Graeme Trousdale
(eds.)2013bThe Oxford handbook of Construction Grammar. New York, NY: OUP.
1958 L’évolution des formes grammaticales. In Antoine Meillet, Linguistique historique et linguistique générale, 130–148. Paris: Champion. (Originally published in Scientia (Rivista di scienza) XXII1 1912)
2002The Japanese copula: forms and functions. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
2012The English IT-cleft: A constructional account and a diachronic investigation. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
2013A diachronic construction grammar account of the Chinese cause-complement pivotal construction. Language Sciences 401. 53–79.
2014Constructions and environments: Copular, passive and related constructions. Oxford: OUP.
1996Recent Issues in Chinese Historical Syntax. In C.-T. J. Huang & Y.-H. A. Li (eds.), New horizons in Chinese linguistics, 161–213. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Peyraube, Alain & Thekla Wiebusch
1994Problems relating to the history of different copulas in ancient Chinese. In Matthew Y. Chen & Ovid J. L. Tseng (eds.), In Honor of William S-Y. Wang: interdisciplinary studies on language and language change, 383–404. Taipei: Pyramid Press.
2002Lexical Changes in Zhanguo Texts. Journal of the American Oriental Society 122(4). 691–705.
2003Copulas: Universals in the Categorization of the Lexicon. Oxford studies in typology and linguistic theory. Oxford: OUP.
Pulleyblank, Edwin G.
1995Outline of classical Chinese grammar. Vancouver: UBC Press.
1993A formal account of grammaticalization in the history of Romance futures. Folia Linguistica Historica XIII1. 219–258.
Sag, Ivan A.
2012Sign-based construction grammar: An informal synopsis. In Hans C. Boas & Ivan A. Sag (eds.), Sign-based construction grammar, 69–202. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.
Shi, Yuzhi & Na Li
2001Hanyu yufahua de lichen – xingtai jufa fazhan de dongyin he jizhi ‘The path of Chinese grammaticalization – the motivation and mechanism of mophosyntactic change’. Beijing: Beijing University Press.
2021. Origin of Modern Chinese pragmatic markers bushi: Negative copula or negative adjective?. Lingua 250 ► pp. 102922 ff.
2022. On the disjunctive constructions and related constructions in Zhoutun. Lingua 266 ► pp. 103183 ff.
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 25 november 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers.
Any errors therein should be reported to them.