A Pragmatic and Semantic Study
2. Literature Review 5
5 2. Literature Review This chapter is concerned with providing an overview of the current knowledge and understanding, as manifested in the literature, of Chinese modal particles as a grammatical category and of the modal particle a in particular which is the focus of this book. Five sections are included in this chapter. Section 2.1 addresses Mandarin modal particles as a lin- guistic category. Section 2.2 presents what is commonly recognized in the literature about particle a. Section 2.3 provides various accounts of the supposed meanings or functions of the particle. Section 2.4 takes a more holistic and critical look at the various accounts of the particle in the literature. And the last section gives an overview of works on modal particles in other Chinese dialects and in languages other than Chinese. 2.1 Modal particles in Mandarin Chinese Modal particles are unstressed in tone and they are bound morphemes in that they must be attached to sentences or phrases and do not function as independent grammatical constituents when occurring in sentences. They constitute a subgroup of what is also referred to in Chinese grammar as ‘helping words’ ( zhuci).1 As a group, modal particles, like the other groups of particles or helping words in Mandarin Chinese (i.e. structural particles and aspect particles, are always placed into the overarching category of xuci ( ), which are rendered in English as ‘empty words’, ‘non-content words’, or ‘function words’. The other overarching category standing in contrast 1 Three groups of ‘helping words’ are recognized in...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.