We are family through morphology: The affixoids -ge and -jie in Mandarin Chinese

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Abstract

This study examines the contemporary morphological development -ge and -jie in Mandarin Chinese. For example, in kù-gē ‘cool-brother; a cool man’ -ge is an affixoid. The data are compiled from Taiwan News Smart Web (2019) and are analyzed in the context of morphosyntactic analysis and negativity bias. The goal of this study is to examine the morphological and semantic attributes of [X-ge] and [X-jie] nominals and understand why these affixoids are productive. The mentioned affixoids serve as nominalizers that can transform adjectives, verbs, adverbs, sentences, etc. into nominals. While the [X + affixoid] possess morphological flexibility, the nominals are expressive for diverse social roles. It is a group of Chinese kinship terms working together via the interaction of morphological, semantic, and pragmatic delicacy of affixoids. This provides Chinese speakers an effective means to cope with the asymmetrical nature of negativity in language and express the Chinese way of nominal euphemism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102847
JournalLingua
Volume241
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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