Volume 29, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0929-998X
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9765
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The grammaticalization literature has not demonstrated convincingly how, if at all, dynamic modals may develop into conditional protasis connectives. Drawing on qualitative and quantitative evidence from Chinese, this paper hypothesizes that such a directionality may arise through univerbation between dynamic modals and protasis connectives (e.g. ‘if’ + ‘be able to’ > ‘if’). Furthermore, this paper suggests that functional compatibility in terms of performativity may explain why dynamic modals tend to grammaticalize into connectives in pre-established conditional protases, while deontic and epistemic modals do so in main clauses.


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