On the formation of a conjecturing clause-taking predicate in Modern Chinese
A conjoining account of huaiyi
This article claims that the conjecturing clause-taking huaiyi predicate in Modern Chinese (e.g. Renmen huaiyi zheming taoyi de jingcha hen keneng canyu le zheqi anjian. ‘People conjecture that the escaped policeman had probably been involved in the case.’) is actually a parenthetical structure. Diachronically, it does not develop from an NP-taking huaiyi predicate (e.g. Wo hen huaiyi zhe ge shuofa. ‘I doubt the statement a lot.’) or a doubting clause-taking huaiyi predicate (e.g. Du Yifu changchang huaiyi ta yu erzi you guo nazhong ge’ermen yiqi de shiguang. ‘Du Yifu often doubted that he had had times of buddy loyalty with his son.’). Rather, it develops from a prosodically separated conjecturing huaiyi predicate. The goal of this paper is to show that its formation did not follow the commonly accepted matrix clause pathway, whereby a parenthetical clause-taking predicate develops from a corresponding matrix clause structure. Instead, it followed a hypothesized conjoining pathway, which involves the loss of a phonetic gap between a prosodically separated huaiyi predicate and the clause with which it occurs.
Published online: 04 November 2020
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