Issues on the Adverb 其 in Archaic Chinese

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


This chapter explores into the meanings and distributions of the adverb 其 in Archaic Chinese texts. Before doing this, several constructions consisting of 其 (“WH-elements + 其 + VP”, “与其yŭqí + VP1,不如/宁bùrú/nìng + VP2”) were reassessed in Sect. 4.2, and instances of 其 in these constructions are found to be pronouns rather than adverbs, this was partly because the adverb 其 seldom appears with assertive SFPs and can not appear with casual WH-phrases. The analysis in Sect. 4.3 also shows that three meanings of 其 can be attested in Archaic Chinese (future tense meaning, epistemic meaning and deontic meaning), the contributor argues for a distinction between future time meaning and epistemic meaning because the former is interpreted lower in the clausal architecture than the latter, this is evident by their linear ordering relative to some benchmark operators in clauses. Section 4.4 focuses on the epistemic modal adverb 其 , whose pragmatic characteristics were identified by virtue of grammatical distributions (e.g. collocational preference of SFPs and clausal types).


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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nankai UniversityTianjinChina

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