On what projects in Vietnamese

Duffield, Nigel
November 2017
Journal of East Asian Linguistics;Nov2017, Vol. 26 Issue 4, p351
Academic Journal
By comparison with other areally- and typologically-related languages, the Vietnamese language disposes of a large and diverse set of (non-affixal) grammatical particles: these display interesting parallels with functional heads in familiar Western European languages. Most of these grammatical morphemes are 'multifunctional' in the sense that their meaning is largely-in some cases, exclusively-determined by their clausal distribution; alternatively, by their configurational relationship to other grammatical morphemes. In this paper, I document the distribution of these particles, working down the clausal spine. I also present a set of analyses of those cases where particles interact with one another, with each group considered in its own terms. Following this presentation, some broader implications of these analyses are briefly considered: it is suggested that a more satisfactory explanation of Vietnamese grammar can be found if it is assumed that grammatical meaning inheres in syntax, rather than in lexical representations.


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