Volume 28, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0929-998X
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9765
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This article claims that the conjecturing clause-taking predicate in Modern Chinese (e.g. ‘People that the escaped policeman had probably been involved in the case.’) is actually a parenthetical structure. Diachronically, it does not develop from an NP-taking predicate (e.g. ‘I the statement a lot.’) or a doubting clause-taking predicate (e.g. ‘Du Yifu often that he had had times of buddy loyalty with his son.’). Rather, it develops from a prosodically separated conjecturing predicate. The goal of this paper is to show that its formation did not follow the commonly accepted matrix clause pathway, whereby a parenthetical clause-taking predicate develops from a corresponding matrix clause structure. Instead, it followed a hypothesized conjoining pathway, which involves the loss of a phonetic gap between a prosodically separated predicate and the clause with which it occurs.


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