Two locative constructions in Caijia from the typological perspective of Asian languages
This paper sets out to examine two locative constructions found in Caijia, an unclassified language with many Sinitic features spoken in Guizhou province of China, using the framework of Ameka & Levinson’s (2007) typology of locative predicates (basic locative construction [blc]). These are the locative verb construction and the positional verb construction, both of which are used to answer the question ‘Where is the X?’. The different syntactic, semantic and pragmatic constraints on the usage of these two main constructions are described and analyzed in detail as well, while the locative verb construction is identified as the basic locative construction.The present paper also studies the core constituents in these two constructions, for example, localizers, which serve to indicate a relative spatial relation between two entities and for whose nominal nature we argue in this paper, a locative verb whose source is ‘live, dwell’, and two types of positional verbs. Even though Caijia is a language very close in its characteristics to Sinitic languages, this study demonstrates certain unusual features, atypical for Sinitic. We also show that Caijia does not bear out all the predictions proposed by Ameka & Levinson for the locative verbs in the languages of the single locative type, nor does it entirely conform with the hierarchy for the blc encoding (Ameka & Levinson 2007).
Keywords: basic locative construction, locative verb, positional verbs, localizers, Caijia, Sinitic
Published online: 19 October 2018
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