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|Other Titles: ||Emphatic Shi and Predictive-Assertive Hui in Mandarin Chinese|
|Authors: ||謝佳玲;Chia-ling Hsieh|
主題提升。modality, focus, topic raising
|Abstract: ||This paper investigates the similarities and differences between emphatic shi and predictive-assertive hui in Mandarin Chinese, as the following examples illustrate.|
(1) Ta shi zai Taipei mai na ben shu de.
He shi in Taipei buy that CL book Particle
He did buy that book in Taipei.
(2) Ta hui zai Taipei mai na ben shu de.
He hui in Taipei buy that CL book Particle
He will buy that book in Taipei.
These two words have been acknowledged to exhibit correspondence in their functions, but they have not been systematically examined in terms of their individual and shared features. This paper aims to thoroughly describe and explain their functions with regard to semantic, syntactic, and pragmatic dimensions. Our conclusion can be summarized as follows. Semantically, both emphatic shi and predictive-assertive hui involve epistemic modality. While shi expresses the speaker's assertion on the truth of a proposition, hui conveys the speaker's predictive assertion on the future possibility of a proposition. Syntactically, emphatic shi acts as an epistemic modal verb (e.g. ke-neng be possible), subcategorizing a sentence and allowing the topic to be raised to the front of the predicate. In contrast, hui displays a greater variety of syntactic behaviors, its distribution overlapping with that of a deontic modal verb (e.g. ying-gai ''should), whereas its categorical selection resembling that of a dynamic modal verb (e.g. neng be able to). Pragmatically, emphatic shi carries a focal feature that marks the speaker's emphasis, so it must get well along with the other focus devices. Conversely, assertive hui lacks such a feature, thus able to coexist freely with focal constructions. Finally, we suggest that the synchronic variations of shi and hui can be accounted for from a diachronic perspective, with a view to better capturing the grammatical characteristics of shi and hui in Mandarin Chinese.
|Appears in Collections:||[01 清華學報] 新31卷第3期|
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