[Lingtyp] Affectionate or sympathy marking

Chao Li chao.li at aya.yale.edu
Thu Jan 12 16:24:33 UTC 2023

Dear Christian,

Affectionate/emotive meanings can often be conveyed through adjectival
reduplication in Mandarin Chinese. For example,

[image: image.png]

As far as this example is concerned, the affectionate feel or the emotive
connotation would be lost and it would read like an objective description
if the adjectives (i.e. *qīng *and *lán*) were not reduplicated and the two
modifying markers were dropped (for the sake of naturalness).

Best regards,


On Thu, Jan 12, 2023 at 5:10 AM Christian Döhler <
christian.doehler at posteo.de> wrote:

> Dear colleagues,
> I am looking for publications that address the difference between (1) and
> (2). In (2), the English adjective *poor* is used to signal the speaker's
> sympathy or affection towards the dog.
>    1. *The dog is waiting for its owner.*
>    2. *The poor dog is waiting for its owner.*
> While English (and my native German) does this by extending the meaning of
> the adjective *poor *(and *arm* in German), other languages have special
> words with only that meaning. For example, Komnzo *bana *is a postposed
> adjective that only conveys sympathy.
> *    ni bananzo namnzr karen.*
>     ni           bana=nzo        na\m/nzr                       kar=en
>     1NSG    SYMP=only     1PL:NPST:IPFV/stay    village=LOC
>     'Only we poor guys stay behind in the village' (subtext: 'while the
> others are going to the celebration in the neighbouring village')
>     (NSG = non-singular, SYMP = sympathy marker, NPST = nonpast)
> Yet other languages seem to have special verb morphology for this. Van
> Tongeren describes this for Suki (her PhD grammar will probably be
> available later this year).
> Pointers to more examples and publications of this are most welcome. I was
> googling this with keywords like "sympathy", "empathy", "affection", but
> with not much luck. So there might be a whole literature on this phenomenon
> under different terminology. If that's the case, then please excuse my
> ignorance.
> Very Best,
> Christian
> --
> Dr. Christian Döhler
> Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (ZAS)
> Schützenstraße 18
> 10117 Berlin
> Raum: 445
> Tel.: +49 30 20192 412https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9659-5920
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