1. INTRODUCTION 1.1. Introduction to modality Since, in Chinese, modality is not reflected in the morphology of the verb, it has to be expressed by modal adverbs, including negation markers, and by modal auxiliary verbs. ' 1 Although modality can be considered one of the central issues in the analysis of the verb phrase, not many comprehensive studies are as yet available for Chinese. For Modem Chinese, modal adverbs and modals verbs have been analysed by Alleton (1977, 1984) and more recently by Li (2004), while for Classical Chinese the modal auxiliary verbs of possibility and of volition have been discussed by Peyraube (1999 and 2001 respectively) and Liu (2000). In general, the analysis of the modal system in a language has to be based on a clear distinction between deontic or root modality ('obligation', 'permission', etc.) on the one hand and epistemic modality ('probability', 'possibility', etc.) on the other hand. The linguistic distinction of two basic kinds of modality was introduced by Jespersen ( 1924)3 and was further developed in Lyons (1977, 1978) who defines these two modal values, epistemic and deontic modality, as follows: Epistemic modality is concerned with matters of knowledge, belief or opinion rather
Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale / Oriental Languages and Linguistics – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2008
Keywords: Key words : auxiliaries, modality, Han period Chinese.
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