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Variation in the grammaticalization of complementizers from verba dicendi in Sinitic languages
This article presents the first study of crosslinguistic variation in grammaticalization processes affecting verba dicendi in Sinitic languages, making use of discourse data in the comparison. Its principal objective is to undertake a quantitative analysis of say verbs used as complementizers in Southern Min and Cantonese in order to pinpoint the stages reached in grammaticalization. In particular, it will be argued that Southern Min is more advanced in its development of a complementizer than is Cantonese. A second and more general objective is to provide an overview of grammaticalized functions of say verbs in an enlarged sample of ten Sinitic languages for which discourse data is also available, including Hakka, Xiang, Wu, Jin, Gan, and three varieties of Mandarin.
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