Volume 23, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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This paper examines the emergence of the Chinese adverb and its further development into a stance discourse marker (). Most previous studies consider the epistemic modal adverb (‘indeed, truly’) to have originated from the temporal adverb (‘originally’). Based on the framework of constructionalisation (Traugott and Trousdale 2013) and Van de Velde et al.’s (2013) idea of multiple sources, I argue that the temporal adverb might not have been the only source for the modal to occur. Furthermore, the modal adverb changed into an , thereby signaling the speaker’s subjective evaluation while linking the coherence of the discourse. I argue that the change was enabled by both subjectification and analogisation. The exemplars to which was by hypothesis analogised include the extant discourse connectives (e.g., ) and the extant commentary pragmatic markers (e.g., and ) (Fraser 2009).


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