Volume 47, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1810-7478
  • E-ISSN: 2589-5230
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This study investigates two types of adjunct WHATs merged at peripheral positions in Chinese. The L-WHAT is merged within VP and denotes a -interpretation with an aggressive, prohibitive force. The H-WHAT is merged at the left periphery of a sentence and is exclusively used in expressing a speaker’s refutatory force without interrogativity. The two WHATs are encoded with different modalities: the L-WHAT with root modality while the H-WHAT with epistemic modality. It is proposed that the interpretations of the two types of WHATs are compositionally derived from the modality and speaker force. This study not only explores the origins of different interpretations of adjunct WHATs, but also advances a uniform approach in mapping the speaker force onto syntax.


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