Attitudinal applicative in action

Seng Hian Lau, Wei Tien Dylan Tsai

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this study, we have investigated a rather peculiar attitudinal construal of an applicative pronoun in Taiwan Southern Min (TSM), which may well advance our understanding of the split affectivity in Chinese dialects (cf. Tsai 2017), as exemplified below: (1) Guá beh lim hōo i kàu-khuì! 1sg want drink hoo 3sg satisfied “I want to drink to my satisfaction!” It is also established that this type of pronominal usage is not specific to TSM but widely observed crosslinguistically (e.g., Vietnamese, Finnish, West Flemish, and Dominican Spanish; see Greco et al. 2017). Furthermore, the attitudinal applicative pronoun, though non-referential, has its root in an Affectee argument in association with the causative/passive marker of hōo. As it turns out, the expression hōo i has developed a speaker-oriented construal, expressing the intention to carry out the activity to the extreme.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCurrent Issues in Syntactic Cartography. A crosslinguistic perspective
EditorsFuzhen Si, Luigi Rizzi
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9789027259776
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameLinguistik Aktuell
ISSN (Print)0166-0829


  • Affectee argument
  • Applicative pronoun
  • Attitudinal applicatives
  • Causative/passive marker of hōo
  • Speaker-oriented construal
  • Taiwan Southern Min (TSM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics


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