City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Feb 2 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (24,580 points) | 12 views

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No. Although an object may be definite, it is not usually pre-posed if it is not pre-existent in the context.

张:昨天你在小王的生日舞会上,看见了哪些人?

Zhāng:Zuó tiān nǐ zài xiǎo wáng de shēng rì wǔ huì shàng ,kàn jiàn le nǎ xiē rén?

Zhang: Whom did you see at Xiao Wang’s birthday party yesterday?

李:我看见了小丁跟小陈。(Improper: 小丁跟小陈,我看见了。)

Lǐ:Wǒ kàn jiàn le xiǎo dīng gēn xiǎo chén 。(Improper: xiǎo dīng gēn xiǎo chén ,wǒ kàn jiàn le。)

Li: I saw Xiao Ding and Xiao Chen.

(Although Xiao Ding and Xiao Chen can be considered definite, they should not be pre-posed because they are not pre-existent in the context.)

张:昨天你看见小丁跟小陈没有?

Zhāng:Zuó tiān nǐ kàn jiàn xiǎo dīng gēn xiǎo chén méi yǒu?

Zhang: Did you see Xiao Ding or Xiao Chen yesterday?

李:小丁,我看见了;小陈,我没有看见。

Lǐ:Xiǎo dīng,wǒ kàn jiàn le;xiǎo chén,wǒ méi yǒu kàn jiàn。

Li: I saw Xiao Ding; I didn’t see Xiao Chen.

(Ding and Chen have been mentioned by Zhang; therefore, they can be pre-posed by Li.)

[1] Yip, P. C., Rimmington, D., Xiaoming, Z., & Henson, R. (2009). Basic Chinese: a grammar and workbook. Taylor & Francis.

[2] Teng, W. H. (2016). Yufa! A practical guide to Mandarin Chinese grammar. Taylor & Francis.

answered Feb 2 by Ariel (24,580 points)

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1,274 questions
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