City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Apr 27 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,480 points) | 23 views

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The subject may have a recipient role with stative verbs of the following subcategories:

First, with stative verbs of the general meaning of possession like 有‘yǒu’ (have), 占有/拥有‘zhànyǒu/yōngyǒu’ (own), 具有/具备‘jùyǒu/jùbèi’ (possess), 获益/受益‘huòyì/shòuyì’ (benefit from), etc. The notion of receipt comes from the supposition that receiving or obtaining is the preliminary stage of possessing, as shown by the relation: ‘Martha gave the child a doll’, so now ‘the child has a doll’:

1a. 很多中国人现在都有小汽车了。

Hěn duō Zhōngguórén xiànzài dōu yǒu xiǎoqìchē le.

(Nowadays many Chinese people have cars.)

1b. 我校的篮球队获得了参赛的资格。

Wǒ xiào de lánqiúduì huòdé le cānsài de zīgé.

(Our school’s basketball team won the qualification to enter the competition.)

1c. 我们从王教授的演讲中受益匪浅。

Wǒmen cóng Wáng jiāoshòu de yǎnjiǎng zhōng shòuyì fěi qiǎn.

(We benefited a lot from Professor Wang’s speech.)

All the subjects of sentence (1) have the semantic role of ‘recipient’, because the verbs involved all have the senses of ‘possess/obtain/benefit from’.

Second, with perceptual verbs signaling result, like 看见‘kànjiàn’ (see), 听见‘tīngjiàn’ (hear), 尝到‘chángdào’ (taste):

2. 我听见了张三在隔壁讲话的声音。

Wǒ tīngjiàn le Zhāng Sān zài gébì jiǎnghuà de shēngyīn.

(I heard Zhang San speaking in the next room.)

Third, with stative verbs of cognition and emotion: 想‘xiǎng’ (think), 认为‘rènwéi’ (think, believe) , 喜欢‘xǐhuān’ (like, be fond of )

3a. 我想他的计算有错误。

Wǒ xiǎng tā de jìsuàn yǒu cuòwù.

(I think his calculation is wrong.)

3b. 我们都很喜欢《活着》这部中国电影。

Wǒmen dōu hěn xǐhuan “Huó Zhe” zhè bù Zhōngguó diànyǐng.

(We all like the Chinese movie “To Live”. )

With the three types of verb, the subject has the semantic role of recipient. One characteristic of stative verbs is that some of them are not used in the progressive aspect. Alternatively, subjects with perceptual, cognitive and emotional verbs may be assigned the semantic role of Experiencer.

[1] Loar, J. K. (2011). Chinese syntactic grammar: functional and conceptual principles. New York: Peter Lang.
answered Apr 27 by Ariel (34,480 points)

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