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A Study of the Origin and Functions of Adverb "Nai" in Ancient Chinese
此外，我們經考察發現：有些「乃」類雙音詞是「副詞 + 副詞」的組成，如「乃遂」；有些則是經由語用推理機制而來，如「無乃」、「毋乃」；有些則是偶然結合的詞組，如「而乃」、「非乃」。|
In this article, the main purpose is to make the adverb “Nai”(乃) as the subject for the research. The aim of this article is to explore the origin and function of the adverb. With the support of the reference from previous works, we would like to look deep into the development of the adverb and do further discussion for each function on its origin and usage. The second chapter of this article would be focuson tracing the origin of the adverb “Nai”(乃). In the process of referring to previous studies and the sourcing from oracle bone script, the word Nai(乃) is closely associated with the word “Nai”(迺). We consider the verb of“Nai (迺)”was being functional deprived and turned into a adverb due to metaphorical mechanism. And thus, the meaning conversed from the performance of space into the concept of time to show the idea of future tense in Chinese. The usage of the word had transferred along the subjective judgement of the user to illustrate the two functions: representing the meaning of “order” and “afterwards”. Subsequently, the writer adopted the homonymous “Nai(乃)” as the word “Nai”(迺). As for the third and fourth chapters of this article are intended to explore the functional origin and the usage of "Nai"(乃). Due to the differences of source, we separate the discussion into two chapters. For chapter three, the discussion would be focusing on the function for time adverbs and the of consecutive adverbs. In chapter four, the discussion would be targeting on the function for judgement adverbs and the limit adverbs. On the aspect discussing the function of adverbs of time, the word Nai(乃) succeeded to the function of time adverb since the Shang Dynasty and fully took over it and adopted it in the literature during Zhou Dynasty . As for the searching of adverb of consecutive connections, the word“Nai”(乃) could be absorbed by the context and developed into consecutive connection adverb when Nai is connecting two events with affairs. The function of the adverb could be categorized as two directions, including the successive and adversative directions. When the Nai is showing the successive function, which means the sentence is in the relation of causation and condition. On contrary, when the Nai is representing the adversative function which means the sentence would show contrary result against the former sentence. In terms of judge adverbs, its function is to explain and distinguish the characteristics, including the scope, quantity, etc. of the subject while judging the origin of the adverb "Nai"(乃), we consider it may developed from the demonstrative pronoun "Nai"(乃). In terms of limit adverbs, when "Nai" is being put in a contrasting context, it can indicate the limitation of the predicate. The limiting function may come from the judg function of "Nai"(乃), or the function of order or logical relationship. The fifth chapter would mainly discuss the development of Nai(乃) since the middle ages. Through identification from previous literature, it is found that the number and main function of "Nai" have changed since the Yuan Dynasty. After examining the literature, we believe that the words with same functions like "Bian", "Ji" and "Cai" (便、即、才) prospered, and led to the decline of Nai(乃). As for the limited function of Nai was limited by the literature context during the Middle Ages when qualified adverbs were prevalent, and thus the limited function of Nai(乃) had declined. As for the part of disyllabic words, we found that some disyllabic words are in the composition of "adverb + adverb", such as "NaiSui"(乃遂); while some are obtained through pragmatic inference mechanism, such as "WuNai”(無乃) and "WuNai"(毋乃). And others were accidentally combined phrases, such as "ErNai”(而乃) and "FeiNai”(非乃).
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