Volume 22, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1606-822X
  • E-ISSN: 2309-5067



This study of Chinese adverbial investigates why cross-linguistically adverbial intensifiers often develop two different uses, namely the exclusive use and the inclusive use. Arguing against the polysemous account proposed in previous works like Siemund (2000), and assuming the mechanism suggested in Liao (2018) for exclusive , the paper presents a new analysis revised from Gast’s (2006) account for intensifiers. In the analysis, there is only one for all its adverbial uses. By adjoining to different X’ positions in the structure, adverbial may get different surface meanings. Despite the surface differences, adverbial always has the following semantics: it works as an identity function, evokes alternatives for consideration, and receives an exclusive meaning after the application of the covert exhaustivity operator O. Based on the evidence presented, the analysis crucially assumes that adverbial may adjoin to Topic’, and this adjunction leads to the effect that the subsequent exhaustification is done over a set of alternative propositions that vary in topics. In such a case, alternative individuals evoked by do not have to be excluded from having the property described by the VP in question. This makes the assertion of a -sentence in inclusive context possible, and accounts for why intensifier has a disguised inclusive function. By proposing such a unified account of , the paper explains why cross-linguistically intensifiers often develop the various uses observed.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): additive particle; exclusive intensifier; inclusive intensifier; intensifier; topic
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