Grammaticalization of directional complements in Mandarin Chinese

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2 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the syntactical differences between grammaticalized complements and general complements in Mandarin Chinese. Focusing on four directional complements - shang (up), xia (down), qi (rise), and chu (out) - we investigate the grammaticalization of these directional complements in light of image schemata (Talmy 1988, 2000) and aims to review Heine, Claudi & Hünnemeyer's (1991) proposal of grammatical structure. The result shows that the grammaticalization of directional complements can be written as space movement ↔ space → non-specific space → time → status, which is generally in accordance with the grammatical structure proposed by Heine, Claudi & Hünnemeyer (1991). However, the additional step of space → non-specific space can be observed in the directional complements of modern Chinese.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-68
Number of pages20
JournalLanguage and Linguistics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Dec 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Social Sciences(all)


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