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Gĕi 'give' in Beijing and beyond 1

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This article focuses on the various uses of gĕi 'give', as attested in a corpus of spoken Beijing Mandarin collected by the author. These uses are compared to those in earlier attestations of Beijing Mandarin from the end of the Qing, and to those in Greater Beijing Mandarin and in the Ji-Lŭ Mandarin dialects. The uses of gĕi in the corpus are shown to be consistent with those found in these two dialect groups, where the primary function of gei is that of indirect object marking and where, in contrast to Standard Mandarin, gei is not additionally used as an agent marker or a direct object marker. Exceptions to this pattern in the corpus are explained as a recent development arisen through reanalysis.

Affiliations: 1: (EHESS-CRLAO)-CNRS 54, Bd Raspail 75006 Paris France


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