Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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Wh-Words, Non-interrogative Use of
(2,103 words)

Wh-words (i.e., question words) such as shéi 誰 ‘who’ and shénme 甚麼 ‘what’ do not only have interrogative readings (Wh-questions, Modern), they also have non-interrogative readings (Chao 1968, Lǚ 1980). Aside from an indefinite interpretation, they can also have a universal interpretation or a free-choice interpretation. Which interpretation the wh-words have depends on a couple of factors: the environment in whic…

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Lisa Lai-Shen CHENG, “Wh-Words, Non-interrogative Use of”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 27 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000452>
First published online: 2015

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