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Title: Why mat in Cantonese?
Other Titles: 為甚麼問「乜」?
Authors: Tang, SW
Keywords: Interrogatives
Discontinuous construction
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: 香港中文大學中國文化硏究所吳多泰中國語文硏究中心
Source: 中國語文研究 (Studies in Chinese Linguistics), 2008, v. 2008, no. 1, p. 9-19 How to cite?
Journal: 中國語文研究 (Studies in Chinese Linguistics) 
Abstract: 在這篇文章裏,我們討論的重點是詢問原因的粵語“乜”。本文詳細討論“乜”的語法特點,包括它的詞序、語義要求,以及比較了“乜”、“做乜”和“點解”的差異。我們認為“乜”是一個副詞性成份,與語氣助詞形成一個框式結構,只在根句出現,不能在嵌套句內出現,用來加強疑問語氣,有敘實性意義。
The goal of this paper is to examine the grammatical properties like word order and semantic requirements of a wh-element mat in Cantonese that has a causal reading and to discuss the differences between mat and other wh-elements that have a similar function, such as zoumat and dimgaai. It is argued that mat is an adverb and forms a discontinuous construction with a sentence final particle. The discontinuous construction occurs in the root clause and is used to reinforce the interrogative mood of the sentence, expressing a factive meaning.
ISSN: 1017-1274
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