murasakisilver (murasakisilver) wrote in linguaphiles,
murasakisilver
murasakisilver
linguaphiles

I was told today by a native speaker of Mandarin that the particle "de" (的) was not used to form possessives until after China came into contact with the West, and that this usage is actually a borrowing from the French "de".

I can't find anything to confirm this, and find it somewhat difficult to believe (or at least surprising). He promises he's not having me on... so is it really true? And if it's not, is it an idea anyone else has heard?
Tags: chinese, etymology, mandarin
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