What is it about?

It compares the uses of the wh-words 'how' and 'why' in Taiwanese and Chinese and explains where the differences arise. Also, it accounts for the ostensibly strange use of bare-how, especially its occurrence in a post-verbal how construction, which is only found in Taiwanese.

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Why is it important?

It is the first paper that gives a comparative study of wh-words in Taiwanese and Chinese. Moreover, it is also the first paper deals with the post-verbal bare-how construction in Taiwanese.


People tend to think there are not many things to work on when it comes to the syntax or semantics in Taiwanese because of the myth that these two languages only differ in their phonology and lexicons. This paper demonstrates that Taiwanese syntax deserves more attention from syntacticians.

Seng-hian Lau
National Taiwan Normal University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A comparative study of how and why in Taiwan Southern Min and Mandarin Chinese, Language and Linguistics 語言暨語言學, April 2020, John Benjamins, DOI: 10.1075/lali.00055.sen.
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