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Jiang, Yan (2019) 'Ways for expressing counterfactual conditionals in Mandarin Chinese.' Linguistics Vanguard. (Forthcoming)

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This paper presents ways for Mandarin Chinese to express counterfactual conditionals and endeavours to provide the motivation and theorization to the use of such strategies so as to depict an overall picture of counterfactual conditionals for the language, which has hitherto not been clearly portrayed in the Chinese linguistic literature. The strategies identified are the use of special lexicalized chunks to directly encode counterfactual meaning; the creation of tense mismatch and the accompanying counterfactual meaning, either through the use of relative tense pointing toward a hypothetical past event, or through the use of some special time adverbs; and the use of pure inferentials over the conditionals with impossible or absurd antecedents. On top of these strategies is the presence of context-dependent simplifications, which may prompt the language user to omit the defining features of a given strategy.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: counterfactual; conditional; Mandarin Chinese
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics > Department of Linguistics
ISSN: 2199174X
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2019 13:58


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