ON THE MORPHOSYNTAX OF THE NEW EXPRESSION BUCUO V IN TAIWAN MANDARIN: A CASE STUDY OF RULE BORROWING
Jen Ting/ National Taiwan Normal University
We study the morphosyntactic properties of the new expression bucuo-V ‘good to V’ in Taiwan Mandarin (TM) and argue that it results from borrowing of a word formation rule in Taiwan Southern Min (TSM) in the context of language contact. We first show that the bucuo V ‘good to V’ sequence is a word and not generated in the syntax proper. Then we demonstrate that the morphological structure of bucuo-V ‘good to V’ is unique for the grammar of TM in patterning more with that of its equivalent(s) in TSM than with that of any other existing word in TM. We move on to argue that a morphological rule that generates bebai/bephai-V ‘good to V’ in TSM is responsible for deriving bucuo-V ‘good to V’ in TM when the rule is borrowed or transferred from TSM to TM via language contact. The results of this study lend support to Thomason’s (2006, forthcoming) theory of rule borrowing as well as provide evidence for the view that syntactic change may result from syntactic borrowing.
Keywords: morphosyntactic, bucuo-V, Taiwan Mandarin, Taiwan Southern Min, language contact, rule borrowing