Insight Article
Exploring the Low Applicative

Hilary Chappell

Abstract:Tone morphemes are used in the coding of a variety of grammatical functions in Sinitic languages: These include plural formation of personal pronouns, the diminutive forms of nouns, as well as different kinds of perfective and completive aspect marking, reported for dialects located in non-contiguous areas of China in the north and the south. With respect to verbal morphology, we first examine the different processes and stages of morphologization between the Yue and Hakka dialects, on the one hand, and Northern Sinitic on the other. Second, we propose the pathway of evolution that leads to the pluralization of Sinitic pronouns by tone morphemes, as well as the pathway that leads to tone morphemes coding perfective aspect in Yue and Hakka.