Intensification and Modal Necessity in Mandarin Chinese: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Intensification and Modal Necessity in Mandarin Chinese

1st Edition

By Jiun-Shiung Wu


190 pages

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pub: 2018-11-20
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This book addresses intensification and modal necessity in Mandarin Chinese.

Intensification is used in this book to describe the speaker’s emphasis on a proposition, because, by emphasizing on a proposition, the speaker intensifies the degree of his/her confidence and affirmativeness toward the truth of a proposition, cf. the distinction between ‘weaker’ and ‘stronger’. Modal necessity discussed in this book refers either to the speaker’s certainty regarding the truth of an inference, judgment or stipulation, that is, epistemic necessity or to the speaker’s certainty concerning the obligatoriness of a proposition, based on rules or regulations, i.e., deontic necessity. This book examines a series of lexical items in Mandarin Chinese that express either intensification or modal necessity, provides a unified semantics and also presents how these lexical items are semantically distinct.

Intensification and Modal Necessity in Mandarin Chinese is aimed at instructors, researchers and post-graduate students of Chinese Linguistics.

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations

Chapter One Introduction

1.1 Setting up the Scene

1.2 Some Clarifications

1.3 Source of Data

1.4 Organization of the Book


Chapter Two Review of Previous Studies

2.1 Synopsis

2.2 Descriptive Studies on the Yídìng Family

2.3 English Adverbs of Modal Certainty

2.4 Summary


Chapter Three The Most General Case: Yídìng

3.1 Overview

3.2 Strong Epistemic Necessity and Intensification

3.2 Updating and Testing

3.4 Summary


Chapter Four Intra-sentential Resolution: Tiědìng

4.1 Overview

4.2 Default Reading and Intra-sentential Resolution Only

4.3 Formalization

4.4 Summary


Chapter Five Certainty Confirmation: Kěndìng

5.1 Overview

5.2 Certainty Confirmation and Subjectivity

5.2 Formalization

5.3 Summary


Chapter Six Certainty Expression: Dǔdìng

6.1 Overview

6.2 Certainty Expression

6.3 Formalization

6.4 Summary and Discussion


Chapter Seven causing: Bìrán

7.1 Overview

7.2 Discourse Factor: cause

7.3 Formalization

7.3 Summary


Chapter Eight Anti-causing: Bìdìng

8.1 Overview

8.2 Anti-cause

8.3 Formalization

8.4 Summary


Chapter Nine Underspecified Modal Base: Shìbì

9.1 Overview

9.2 Underspecified Modal Base

9.3 Formalization

9.4 Summary


Chapter Ten Addressee’s To-Do List: Wùbì

10.1 Overview

10.2 Imperative wùbì

10.3 Summary


Chapter Eleven Archaic Strong Modal Epistemic Necessity and Intensification:

11.1 Overview

11.2 Strong Modal Necessity, Intensification and Archaic Usage

11.3 Formalization

11.4 Summary

Chapter Twelve General Discussion

12.1 Overview

12.2 Syntactic Functions of the Yídìng Family

12.3 Comparison between English and Chinese

12.4 Underspecification concerning Epistemic and Deontic Modality

12.5 Backward vs. Forward Resolution

12.6 Summary


Chapter Thirteen Conclusion


About the Author

Jiun-Shiung Wu is a Professor of Linguistics and Director of the Institute of Linguistics at National Chung Cheng University, Chiayi, Taiwan. He received a Ph.D. degree in linguistics from University of Texas at Austin, Texas, U.S.A, May, 2003. He served as the President of Linguistic Society of Taiwan from February, 2010 to January, 2012. He is a board member of International Association of Chinese Linguistics. He is the author of Temporal and Atemporal Relations in Mandarin. Taiwan Journal of Linguistics Monograph Series No. 2. He also publishes more than a dozen of journal papers and has more than thirty conference presentations.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Chinese Linguistics

Routledge Studies in Chinese Linguistics is a state-of-the-art book series showcasing high quality research on the linguistics of the Chinese language. Titles in the series range from seminal classics to cutting edge studies in the field, and comprise both research monographs and edited volumes.

Contributions are welcomed from all areas of linguistic study applied to the Chinese language, including but not limited to phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, discourse analysis, stylistics, sociolinguistics, language and communication, historical linguistics, dialectology, language acquisition, language pedagogy, corpus linguistics, bilingualism and Chinese for specific purposes, etc.

Published in English, titles in the series will be of great interest to postgraduate students and scholars in the fields of Chinese language and linguistics.

If you have a book proposal or idea in mind that might be suitable for the series, please contact the series editor Hongming Zhang of the University of Wisconsin-Madison ( For more information on submitting a proposal to Routledge, please visit

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