The Development of 且 QIE as a Polite Imperative Marker

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


In Middle Chinese, a new function of QIE as a marker of polite imperative started to appear, and its use gradually increased in frequency until the late Old Mandarin era. This paper proposes a possible path for the development of this function of QIE in Middle Chinese, and suggests that it might have evolved from its use for transient situations with hortative modality in early Chinese Buddhist texts. The contact with Indic languages via translation also seems to have facilitated the development of QIE from temporal adverb to marker of polite imperative.


QIE Diachronic variation Polite imperative 


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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BeijingChina

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