Chinese locative particle
In my brief examination of Chinese pronouns, I pointed out some general paradigmatic characteristics, one of which is the use of certain particles for denoting PLACE (in an abstract locative sense). The Cantonese/Mandarin paradigms are conveniently presented as below:
Here: 呢度 這裏
There: 嗰度 那裏
Where: 邊度 哪裏
As is evident, the locative particle in Cantonese and Mandarin is -度 and -裏 respectively, and the initial character expresses various spatial relations (proximal (呢/這), distal (嗰/那), interrogative (邊/哪)). In Cantonese, however, there is a particular usage which is very striking and totally absent in Mandarin, and that is the use of the locative particle -度 after nouns, namely names of people and places e.g.
‘at school’ ‘at school’
‘at my brother’s’ ‘at my brother’s’
‘in the office’ ‘in the office’
It is clearly then that the use of locative particle is quite productive in Cantonese as it (度) can be used after a range of nouns denoting place/location, whereas the distribution of the Mandarin equivalent (裏) is not so widespread as it seems to occur only after grammatical morphemes like demonstratives rather than full nouns. Amazing microvariation.