A diachronic study of ‘SAY’ verbs in Manchu

Su-ying Hsiao

A diachronic study of ‘SAY’ verbs in Manchu

(60th Meeting of the PIAC, Székesfehérvár 2017)

‘SAY’ verbs are very likely to be grammaticalized into quotation markers, complementizers, or discourse markers cross-linguistically. This paper reports some preliminary results of an ongoing study of SAY’ verbs in Manchu from a diachronic perspective.

Data were mainly drawn from Manchu Veritable Records (1635), Manchu Laoqida (1765) and Manchu-Mongolian-Chinese Readers (1909, 1910). Constructions containing the verb ‘SAY’ and its cognitive synonyms according to the grouping in WordNet (https://wordnet.princeton.edu/) and HowNet (http://ehownet.iis.sinica.edu.tw/ehownet.php) such as hendu– ‘to say, speak’, se- ‘to say; to call; to mean’, ala- ‘to tell; to report’, boola- ‘to report’, habša- ‘to accuse; to report to’, giyangna- ‘to explain’, bolgo- ‘to clarify, explain’, getukele- ‘ to explain’, ulhibu- ‘to explain to’, and elbefe- ‘to talk carelessly’, gebule- ‘to name, to call by name’ and their various forms were examined. Some Mongolian data were
used for comparison.

Preliminary results show that Manchu se- ‘to say; to call; to mean’ generated more grammatical functions than its Mongolian counterpart ge- did. In addition to a predicate, se- can be used as a quotation marker, a complementizer, a discourse marker or an adverbializer.