2022-06-17Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1515/lingvan-2021-0036
Jiu-conditionals in Mandarin Chinese: thoughts on a uniform pragmatic analysis of Mandarin conditional constructions
Sprach- und literaturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Conditionals in Mandarin can be expressed by conjunctive sentences with no overt conditional connective (Type 1: P, Q) or with a conditional connective (CC) in the antecedent (Type 2: CC P, Q) and/or a conditional particle (CP) in the consequent (Type 3: (CC) P, CP Q). In this paper, we focus on jiu-conditionals (Type 3) without CCs. We assume that jiu in Mandarin is ambiguous between jiu 1 (unstressed, nonexclusive, left associating) and jiu 2 (stressed, exclusive, right associating), and that jiu-conditionals involve jiu 1 without exclusive force. We argue against a conditional conjunction analysis of jiu-conditionals and for a scalar analysis of jiu in conditionals as well as in temporal or spatial use. Furthermore, we present what we believe is the first uniform pragmatic account of Mandarin conditional constructions across Types 1–3: it is the subjective (non)veridicality property of the first clause P that determines the reading of the sentence P, Q. If P is entailed or presupposed, we get a conjunctive reading; if P is not entailed or presupposed, that is, if it is nonveridical, we get a conditional reading. Devices triggering the conditional reading include CCs or negative polarity items in the antecedent, as well as the broader discourse context or world knowledge.
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