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Title: Grammaticalization of Zikhai in Cantonese
Authors: Chan, Wing Ho (陳永豪)
Department: Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics
Issue Date: 2010
Course: CTL4235 Project
Programme: Bachelor of Arts (Honours) In Linguistics and Language Technology
Instructor: Dr. Zhang, Wei
Subjects: Chinese language -- Grammaticalization.
Chinese language -- Function words.
Cantonese dialects -- Grammar.
Abstract: Grammaticalization is used to describe how a lexical item takes up new grammatical functions or how a grammatical item develops new grammatical functions. Phonological, semantic, grammatical and functional changes are closely related to grammaticalization. In this paper, the Cantonese expression zikhai即係 is studied based on spontaneous speech data. The grammaticalized result of zikhai in spontaneous conversations is identified and described. The functions of the word zikhai have undergone grammaticalization and its meaning is bleached and it gained some other functions in conversation. In this paper, I argue that zikhai, besides being a copula and a textual connective, has taken up several more functions in actual talk‐in‐interaction including being a resumption marker, a repair marker and a pause‐filler. These functions help accomplish various interactional works in conversation, such as showing understanding of preceding talk and linking the following talk back to a previous turn, etc.
Appears in Collections:OAPS - Dept. of Linguistics and Translation

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