A constructional account of the development of the Chinese stance discourse marker běnlái
This paper examines the emergence of the Chinese adverb běnlái and its further development into a stance discourse marker (sdm). Most previous studies consider the epistemic modal adverb běnlái (‘indeed, truly’) to have originated from the temporal adverb běnlái (‘originally’). Based on the framework of constructionalisation (Traugott and Trousdale 2013) and Van de Velde et al.’s (2013) idea of multiple sources, I argue that the temporal adverb might not have been the only source for the modal běnlái to occur. Furthermore, the modal adverb changed into an sdm, thereby signaling the speaker’s subjective evaluation while linking the coherence of the discourse. I argue that the change was enabled by both subjectification and analogisation. The exemplars to which běnlái was by hypothesis analogised include the extant discourse connectives (e.g., kěshì) and the extant commentary pragmatic markers (e.g., kělián and suxìng) (Fraser 2009).
Keywords: analogisation; commentary pragmatic marker; constructionalisation; discourse connectives; multiple sources; stance discourse marker; subjectification
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 31, 2022
This article was made available online on November 11, 2022 as a Fast Track article with title: "A constructional account of the development of the Chinese stance discourse marker benlái".
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