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《Linguistic Sciences》 2017-06
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A Study on the Core Connatation and Its Pragmatic Interpretation of Modal Verb “neng”

Yu Guangwu;School of Linguistic Science & Arts,Jiangsu Normal University;Collaborative Innovation Center for Language Ability;Institute for Advanced Study on Language Ability,Jiangsu Normal University;  
The core connotation of a modal verb is to express the relationship between propositions. Along this line,the core connotation of"neng"(能) could be deduced as"P is compatible with Dfactual". Based on this meaning,a pragmatic interpretation could be given to each function of "neng"("to be able to"; "to be capable to"; "possibly can",etc.) expressed in specific contexts. The process of interpretation tends to be reasoning. And like its usage of intention,its pragmatic meaning is often obtained with the expression of p(small sentences that modal verbs are in) when the subjects in p possess self-evident inherent ability. The word "neng"only interprets that there is potential for p to be true,with regard to different people,there is no need to mention the self-evident inherent ability,the result comes from pragmatic inference. The asymmetry of affirmation and negation expressed by "neng"have to be explained together with specific contexts by pragmatic inference.
【Fund】: 国家社科基金青年项目(10CYY033);; 江苏省优势学科建设工程(PAPD)二期项目(江苏师范大学中国语言文学)的支持
【CateGory Index】: H146.2
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