Edited by Zhiming Bao
[Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 38:1] 2023
► pp. 14–40
This article discusses the semantic and syntactic properties of converb markers =Shi, =Zhe, and =Tala in Sinitic varieties in the Qīnghǎi-Gānsù Linguistic Area (qgla), and defines them as converb enclitics rather than conjunctions, modal particles, or other functional words. =Shi is a conditional converb enclitic while =Tala is a terminative converb enclitic; both enclitics derive their respective properties from Altaic languages. The enclitic =Zhe expresses the coordinative and narrative functions, derived from its Altaic source, and the conjunctional function, which is an innovation. The productive use of the converbs coincides with the sharp decline of serial verbs in Sinitic varieties in qgla, and such a phenomenon emerges through intense contact among the Altaic, Sinitic and Tibetan languages in the area.