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

What is the function of ZHU (住) in "你抓住這條繩"?

asked Jan 2, 2018 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by admin (23,690 points)
edited Apr 25, 2018 by admin

1 Answer

0 votes

The compound word 抓住 (zhu¯a-zh`u/ grab) falls into the category of attainment resultative verb compounds. This type of resultative verb compounds features a phase-marker verb (Li and Thompson 1981) on the right indicating the attainment of an action symbolized by the verb on the left. For instance, in the word 抓住 (zhu¯a-zh`u/ grab),  (zhu¯a/ grab) is the primary action in this verb compound, and 住 (zh`u/ hold on) marks the attainment of this action.

The verbs with this semantic function include verbs like 到 (d`ao/ arrive), 完 (w´an/ finish),

 (zh˘ao/ on target), and 好 (h˘ao/ good).

Reference: Chinese: a linguistic introduction by Chao Fen Sun

answered Jan 2, 2018 by admin (23,690 points)
edited Apr 25, 2018 by admin
766 questions
995 answers
2 comments
5,482 users