Aspect und Modality in Pre-Tang Chinese

. Modal Expressions in Pre-Tang Chinese Within the research project, final research particularly on the syntax of modal markers, i.e. of modal verbs and modal adverbs is at issue based on the results of my recent research on aspect and modality in Late Archaic and Early Medieval Chinese. Tsai’s (e.g. 2015) cartographic analysis of the modal system of Modern Mandarin demonstrates the relevance of a syntactic analysis for the semantic interpretation of modal markers. Although modal marking in Late Archaic and Early Middle Chinese differs from the fully developed modal system of Modern Mandarin, a precise syntactic analysis is mandatory to account for the different modal readings present in the language. In addition to this, the aspectual characteristics of the embedded verb and the syntactic features of the subject have to be analyzed, since they play a vital role in the interpretation of modal meanings (e.g. Hacquard 2006, 2010, Abraham & Leiss 2008, Meisterernst 2017). Despite the typological differences between Chinese and the Germanic languages, the study is partly based on insights from the aspect-modality system in the Germanic languages, the most extensively studied modal system in the world. The comparison of the aspect-modality systems of two entirely unrelated languages provides strong arguments for universal constraints on the relation of aspect and modality and for universal tendencies in the development of the modal system. In the study, the different modal concepts proposed in the linguistic literature, i.e. the basic concepts of deontic/root and epistemic, of participant-external and participant-internal modality and their realization in Chinese will be discussed; an overview of modal expressions in pre-Modern Chinese will be presented. Particular focus lies on the establishment of the topography of Pre-Modern Chinese modals in order to account for the correspondences between syntax and semantics and to provide evidence from the early stages of Chinese for universal constraints on the order of modal markers (see Tsai 2015, Cinque 1999). The monograph resulting from this final research on modal expressions in Pre-Tang Chinese addresses these issues for the first time in a systematic manner. 2. New perspectives on Aspect and Modality in Chinese Historical Linguistics The second issue of this project is the compilation of a volume on aspect and modality in Chinese: Meisterernst, Barbara (ed.) and contributor: New perspectives on Aspect and Modality in Chinese Historical Linguistics (selected articles from the Workshop on Modality, Humboldt University August 1, 2016), scheduled to appear 2018 in Frontiers in Chinese Linguistics, Springer & Peking University Press. The selection of articles by different authors published in this book is based on the International Workshop on Aspect and Modality in Chinese, August 1, 2016, funded by the DFG, Humboldt University Berlin. It will present new perspectives on the study of Aspect and Modality in Chinese Historical Linguistics. The objectives of the book are to include new research results in the field and to make them available not only for specialists in Classical and Buddhist Chinese, but also to researchers and students of general linguistics and of the universals of language. Therefore, Chinese language articles will be translated into English, because this book explicitly also targets a non-Chinese speaking audience in order to make the results of Chinese research more easily available for the non-Chinese speaking linguistic community. Different aspects of the AM (Aspect-Modality), or the TAM (Tense-Aspect-Modality) system of Chinese will be covered in this book.

Principal Investigators
Meisterernst, Barbara (Details) (Section of Chinese Studies / Chairs)

Duration of Project
Start date: 08/2017
End date: 07/2018

Research Areas

Research Areas
Diachrone Chinesische Linguistik

Last updated on 2020-19-10 at 06:17