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A Study on Modal Adverbs in Ancient Chinese

  • JOURNAL OF CHINESE STUDIES
  • 2020, (68), pp.31-54
  • DOI : 10.26585/chlab.2020..68.002
  • Publisher : CHINESE STUDIES INSTITUTE
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature
  • Received : April 30, 2020
  • Accepted : June 1, 2020
  • Published : June 30, 2020

Yoon Soonil 1

1고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Through the review of prior research, this paper completed the semantics system of the adverb of ancient Chinese style and analyzed the usage of modal adverbs in ancient Chinese language according to the criteria and organized the meaning and syntactic features of the sentences in which they were written. The results are as follows. The semantic type of modal adverbs can be largely classified into epistemic, deontic, dynamic, judgmental and evaluative. They appear in the structure of ‘(NP)+Adv+VP’ and a few examples appear in the structure of ‘Adv+(NP)+VP’. ‘Judgmental’ refers to the attitude or perspective taken by the speaker on the authenticity of the proposition, which is considered a given fact. It is subdivided into ‘confirmation’ and ‘strength’ based on the perspective of judgment. ‘Epistemic’ refers to the speaker’s view or attitude on the veracity of a proposition that is not known whether it is true or not. It is subdivided into ‘possibility’ and ‘necessity’ depending on the degree of confidence. ‘Deontic’ means refers to the point of view or attitude of the speaker to give the moral responsibility to agent in order to make the situation represented by the proposition a fact. The modal adverbs of ancient Chinese language may only indicate ‘necessity’ with a high degree of necessity. There are only ‘intention’ types of ‘dynamic’ that can be expressed by the modal adverbs of the Ancient Chinese. ‘Evaluative’ refers to the speaker’s view or attitude on the content of the proposition itself. Only two types of ‘counter-expectation’ and ‘fortunateness’ are found in Chinese adverbs.

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This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.