Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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While epistemic modality has been suggested to be a modal source of conditionality, deontic modality has been generally overlooked. Using data from Classical Chinese and the Invited Inferencing Theory of Semantic Change, this study demonstrates that the deontic modal tends to invite inferences of conditionality in contexts where it is used teleologically and performatively as an indirect speech act of advice. That is, conditionality can emerge out of an interaction of teleological and performative meanings. Furthermore, three conditions are identified as where teleological, performative and conditional meanings enable the inferencing of the deontic modal as a conditional protasis connective. The absence of one or more of these conditions is shown to be less likely to invite inferences of conditionality.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): advice; conditional; deontic modal; invited inferencing; teleological modal
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