Modality in Classical Chinese

Year of Funding: 

Workshop: November 30 and December 1, 2018
Workshop Program

This workshop brings together scholars from Mainland China, Taiwan, and the United States to present recent work and exchange viewpoints on how to analyze expressions of modality such as 可ke ‘can’, 当dang ‘should’, and 必bi ‘must’ in Chinese from the fifth century BCE onward. Such expressions have received considerable attention in the linguistic literature on European languages, but extensions of these findings to unrelated languages like Chinese are far less numerous. This workshop aims to combine Chinese and Western perspectives on this topic to better understand how a broader theory of modality can be applied to modal markers in Classical Chinese and how they have developed in the modern language.

The workshop consists of presentations by invited speakers, followed by a roundtable discussion on issues raised by these presentations. The event is open to the public and will be of interest to scholars and students interested in Classical Chinese language and linguistics. Talks will be given in either English or Mandarin Chinese. Co-sponsored by Linguistics and Asian Languages and Literature.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Asian Languages & Literature, the Department of Linguistics, the College of Arts and Sciences Humanities Division, the Confucius Institute of the State of Washington, and the Simpson Center for the Humanities.

Primary Contact

Edith Aldridge (Linguistics)

Zev Handel (Asian Languages & Literature)