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A corpus-based approach to cliticization of case markers in Sakizaya

Chihkai Lin
National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan


This paper investigates cliticization of three categories of case makers in Sakizaya, a Formosan language in eastern Taiwan. Shen (2016, 2018, 2022) has discussed the three case makers in Sakizaya, nominative, genitive, and oblique. The cliticization of the case markers in Sakizaya has been discussed by Lin (2020), who probed into the cliticization of nominative and genitive case markers. The results have shown that the two case markers tend to be parsed into the preceding word. Although Lin (2020) has investigated the phonological representation of case markers in Sakizaya, two issues remain unsolved: missing oblique case marker and distance effect. To discuss the two unsolved issues, this paper establishes a small corpus that includes sentences with three categories of case markers in Sakizaya.

The corpus is based on an online dictionary of Sakizaya. The sentences for each case marker in the dictionary are collected, and then they are scrutinized and specifically selected. First, only sentences with the three case markers are chosen. Second, the ordering of the NPs is marked. Finally, the demarcations of the three case markers in the six orderings are marked.

The results show that 105 sentences have only right demarcation of case markers, 14 sentences have left or right demarcation, 8 sentences lack any demarcation, and only 4 sentences have only left demarcation. Oblique case marker tu shows a similar pattern as the nominative and genitive case markers do in demarcation. Besides, the distance effect is not salient in this study.

This paper has suggested that the case markers prefer right demarcation, and the demarcation interacts with the positions and categories of the case markers. Unlike the results in Lin (2020), the distance effect is not salient in this study. Besides, the categorical difference is significant among the three case markers for cliticization.


Corpus linguistics; Sakizaya; Case marker

International Joint Conference of APLX, ETRA40, and TESPA 2023