Future, Alternatives and Volition: The Origin of Markers of Future Tense and Alternative Questions in Archaic Chinese

Part of the Frontiers in Chinese Linguistics book series (FiCL, volume 5)


This article first discusses the future markers 將 jiāng, 且 qiě, and 其 in Archaic Chinese; it suggests that these future uses may have been derived from verbs of volition. Similarly, analyses of the use of jiāng, ‘qie, and in alternative questions reveal that their origin is also related to their volitional meaning. In addition, the markers of alternative questions in Archaic Chinese 寧 níng, 意 , and 抑 are being examined; in this context, we will demonstrate that 抑 merely functions as a loan for 意 . In the last part of the analysis we emphasize the relevance that linguistic studies be carried out systematically.


Future tense Alternative questions Grammatical markers Historical syntax 


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© Peking University Press and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chinese Language and Literature, Centre for Chinese LinguisticsPeking UniversityBeijingChina

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