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) | 50 views

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Common verbs of general meaning like ‘nòng’ (do), ‘gǎo’ (make, do) or ‘jìnxíng’ (carry out, execute) take an object NP which expresses an action or an event. Such an object is assigned the eventive semantic role. Eventive object is semantically an extension of the meaning of the verb and in fact specifies the action involved. For instance in (1):

1a. 他们现在在搞科研。

Tāmen xiànzài zài gǎo kēyán.

(They are doing scientific research.)

1b. 对这个事故我们要进行认真的调查。

Duì zhège shìgù wǒmen yào jìnxíng rènzhēn de diàochá.

(We will make a serious investigation into this accident.)

1c. 他们进行了长期的斗争,终于打败了入侵者。

Tāmen jìnxíng le chángqī de dòuzhēngzhōngyú dǎbài le rùqīn zhě.

(They had waged a long-term fight, and finally defeated the invaders.)

In the above sentences, the direct objects 科研‘kēyán’ (scientific research), 调查‘diàochá’ (investigation) and 斗争‘dòuzhēng’ (struggle, fight) all indicate the activities or events named by the verbs with general meanings, so they are all eventive objects.

[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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1,439 questions
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