This study presents an investigation into sentence-final particle clustering (hereafter referred to as ‘SFP clustering’) as witnessed in classical and modern Chinese, with special focus on the clustering of demonstrative er and assertive ye, and has finally reached the conclusion that er and ye fused into one single word represented by the character ‘’ in the Later Han, therefore resolving the long-standing dispute as to whether or not the SFP na existed in Middle Chinese. The investigation shows that the function of na largely depended upon the assertive force of ye, with er adding to it a tint of exaggeration, and that na, with its assertive force, was frequently attested in declarative and illustrative sentences, but through its interaction with the context, the forces of yes-no questions and rhetorical questions were also manifested in its usage. Previous studies have reported that the alternative occurrences of na and ye in several editions of one passage were due to their common component: ye. However, this study argues that na and ye in fact fell under different particle categories, the former assertive while the latter interrogative. Also, contrary to previous opinion that na disappeared during the Qing Dynasty, this study points out that na has still been in use at least in Beijing Mandarin.
|Effective start/end date
|2018/08/01 → 2019/07/31
- sentence-final particle(SFP)
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