Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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This paper addresses the development of construction-specific modal uses of hao ‘good’ in Mandarin discourse. My focus is the cultural relevancy of the pathway of change: an expression of value judgment gives rise to deontic modality in recurring discourse contexts. Mandarin is contrasted with Germanic languages with regard to lexical sources of change towards deontic modals. It is suggested that social interdependence of individuals and the cultural preference of collective agency are the driving forces behind the change of the Mandarin hao constructions as opposed to personal agency and autonomy which underlies the semantic development in Germanic.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): deontic modality; Germanic; language and culture; Mandarin; semantic change
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