Basic Locative Constructions in Caijia – A Descriptive and Typological Perspective

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Caijia蔡家, language of Cai蔡话, or [meŋ33ni55ŋoŋ55], spoken by less than 1,000Cai蔡 people in northwestern Guizhou贵州 Province (mainly in Hezhang赫章 and Weining威宁) of China, is a non-classified, under-described and critically endangered language.
This paper presents a case study aiming to establish the first description of basic locative constructions in Caijia. A basic locative construction (henceforth BLC) is used to answer the question ‘Where is X?’, in which X is a definite spatial entity (MPI Annual Report 1998). Using the framework of motion events of Talmy (2000) and the typology of locative predicates of Ameka and Levinson (2007), this paper aims to show how Caijia structures a relative spatial relation between two objects (Figure and Ground (Talmy 2000)).
Two main constructions that can answer ‘Where is X?’ are found in this language in which a spatial relation holds between VLOC and the localizer:
a.   Figure   (VmannerVLOC       Ground + Localizer                                                                       
b.   Figure   VLOC       Ground + Localizer            (Vmanner)                                  
Apart from the syntactic structures, I also study the constituents found in the BLCs in this paper, as illustrated in the table below.
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