City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Nov 24, 2020 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,470 points) | 55 views

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According to Chao (1965):

Let us take an actual historical in­stance of a form being uttered, as when Mencius went to see King Huey of the state of Liang, who began with addressing him: “叟! Soou! ‘Sir!’” That was a token of the type 叟 soou, which occurred many times both before and after that particular instance. If we are interested in the particular occurrence as a histori­cal event, with its linguistic as well as nonlinguistic circumstances, that constitutes a philological study. On the other hand, if we are interested in the soou as a type and the conditions under which it does or does not occur, especial­ly in relation to contexts made up of other types, then it is a linguistic problem. Thus, philology is the study of tokens, and linguistics is the study of types.

[1]Chao Y R. A grammar of spoken Chinese[M]. Univ of California Press, 1965.

answered Nov 24, 2020 by Ariel (34,470 points)

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