Often attested in the Han-time historical records, yun has long been taken to be the clause-final marker of uncertainty. However, the present study refutes such an argument and argues instead that yun was a discourse marker coding textual situation. As a discourse marker with the core meaning ‘(like) this’, yun retained its status as a predicative pronominal; this explains why yun prevailed in the Han-time historical records, for the functions of a predicative pronominal catered well for the narrative nature of historical records. Additionally, the study points out that the pre-modern verbum dicendi dao could either serve as a complementizer or attach to the back of a conjunction or an adverb; this suggests that pre-modern dao closely resembles shuo as seen in modern north dialects in various usages, and that the use of pre-modern dao was not confined to written language—in fact, it was pervasive in vernacular language as well.
|Effective start/end date||2017/08/01 → 2018/07/31|
- discourse marker
- verbum dicendi
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