In describing motion events, Chinese underwent a change from a dominantly verb-framed language in its earlier stages to a dominantly satellite-framed language as shown in present-day Putonghua. Taking the Wenzhou Wu dialect as a case study, this talk introduces the unique features in the dialect, and from both diachronic and cross-dialectal perspectives, shows that Wenzhou has developed much faster than Putonghua and other Chinese dialects in developing into a satellite-framed language. The case of Wenzhou may suggest what kinds of lexicalization and typological shifts are possible in languages.
Dr. Lin Jingxia is associate professor of Chinese linguistics at NTU. She received her PhD in Chinese linguistics from Stanford University. Prior to joining NTU Singapore, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Her research interests include syntax-semantics interface, language variation and change, and typology. She mainly works on Putonghua, Singapore Mandarin, and the Wenzhou Wu dialect.