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From Synthetic to Analytic Modal Negation: Modal Negative Markers from Han to Tang

Pages 441 - 468


In the following discussion a comprehensive analysis of the modal negative markers of Han period Chinese expressing deontic modality, i. e. prohibition, and their development in the early Buddhist literature is at issue. Significant changes can be observed in the system of modal marking during these periods. In Archaic Chinese a complex system of synthetic modal negative markers exists, equally marked morphologically by the initial *m- but displaying different functions; these markers are subjected to considerable changes in their employment during and after the Han period. Additionally, a tendency develops to replace or to supplement the synthetic modal negative markers by a system of analytic marking, i. e. by the negated forms of modal auxiliary verbs during the times at issue.



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