City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
+1 vote

Why verb needs to be repeated in the sentence "吃飯吃得很慢"? Why the sentence "*吃飯吃得很慢" is ungrammatical?

asked Dec 7, 2017 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by admin (24,470 points)
edited Dec 7, 2017 by admin

1 Answer

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Structural preservation is required for making grammatical functions. Structurally, DE (得) has to be post-verbal to match its function. DE (得) in the sentence ‘*他吃飯得很慢’ is not post-verbal and is after a noun. So, verb needs to be copied before DE (得) to form a grammatical sentence ‘他吃飯吃得很慢’ [V-NP-V-DE-COMP]. 

answered Jan 2, 2018 by admin (24,470 points)
edited Apr 25, 2018 by admin
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