The grammaticalization of 要 Yao and the future cycle from Archaic Chinese to Modern Mandarin*
In this paper, I argue that the grammaticalization of the Chinese word 要 <i>yāo/yào</i> shows an instance of the future cycle. Similar to English <i>will</i>, 要 <i>yāo/yào</i> has developed new functional meanings apart from its earlier semantic meanings of Compulsion and Volition, including deontic and future time uses. I adopt the theory of Late Merge (van Gelderen 2004) as a descriptive account to argue that while full verb 要 <i>yāo/yào</i> is in the VP, the deontic and future time uses are in the Aspect Phrase and Mood Phrase respectively. I present evidence of scope differences in Modern Mandarin to support this thesis, and also briefly suggest that a “Problems of Projection” approach (Chomsky 2013, 2014) to grammaticalization may motivate the Late Merge phenomenon. Lastly, I show that although the older uses of 要 <i>yāo/yào</i> still exist in Modern Mandarin, they are increasingly likely to be replaced by renewed forms, as predicted in the cycle framework.