Exclamation in Late Archaic Chinese
Keywords:Late Archaic Chinese, sentence exclamations, exclamatives, exclamativity tests
Exclamation is constituted of sentence exclamations and exclamatives. Sentence exclamations in Late Archaic Chinese (LAC) are expressives asserting denoted propositions, parallel to their counterparts in modern Mandarin. Sentence exclamations in LAC also indicate that the asserted propositions fail to meet speakers’ expectations, yet such a sense of surprise is not obligatory. Another property of sentence exclamations in LAC is their compatibility with focus structures whose value is reflected in a degree property. As for exclamatives, although they exist in modern Mandarin, they do not exist in LAC. There are exclamatory constructions involving degree adverbials he and heqi, which, according to traditional analyses (Yang & He, 1992, pp. 899-900; Chu, 1994, p. 303), are exclamatives. Nevertheless, I suggest that exclamatory constructions involving he and heqi in LAC fail to pass the exclamativity tests (Zanuttini & Portner 2000, 2003; Badan & Cheng, 2015), disparate from their modern counterparts, so they should not be treated as true exclamatives.
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