Statistical Internet based Analysis of the Affixoid-ma in Modern Mandarin Chinese

Shelley Ching yu Depner


This study examines recent morphological development - mother in Modern Mandarin Chinese, such as that in dānqīn mā 單親媽 ‘single mother’. Our data are taken from the Taiwan News Smart Web (2019). Collocation (Halliday 1966, Dunning 1993) and Semantic prosody (Sinclair 1991, Stubbs 1996) is the research framework of this study. Then the criteria for identifying affixoids (ten Hacken 2000, Elsen 2009) will be taken for further examining the data. The goal of the study is to investigate the morphological and semantic attributes of [X-ma] nominals and to find out why the affixoids are productive. The research goals are: (1) to reveal the semantic prosody of [X-ma] nowadays; (2) to show whether the [X-ma] structures are compounding or affixation. The findings indicate that [X-ma] expresses more positivity than negativity. The –ma in Modern Mandarin is developing toward an affix, now an affixoid.


X-ma construction, collocation, semantic prosody, affixoid, quasi-suffix

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