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Beyond Functional SequenceThe Cartography of Syntactic Structures, Volume 10$
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Ur Shlonsky

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190210588

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190210588.001.0001

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On the Topography of Chinese Modals

On the Topography of Chinese Modals

Chapter:
(p.275) 14 On the Topography of Chinese Modals
Source:
Beyond Functional Sequence
Author(s):

Wei-Tien Dylan Tsai

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190210588.003.0015

This paper offers a comprehensive cartographic account of the modality spectrum in Chinese. It becomes clear from our study that the complicated relation between modals and modality calls for a more articulated theory of the organization of functional projections. More specifically, epistemic modals occupy the complementizer layer, deontic modals the inflectional layer, and dynamic modals the lexical layer. Moreover, we provide an explanation of certain cases of actuality entailments in Chinese modals from a typological point of view, in that Chinese develops a more “analytic” strategy to represent the scope relation between modals and other sentential operators, that is, by merging an operator where it should be.

Keywords:   chinese modals, cartographic approach, comparative syntax, actuality entailment

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