City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Apr 29, 2021 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,480 points) | 58 views

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A sentence adverbial is related to the whole sentence, even when the sentence is composed of two coordinated clauses, as shown:

a. 在中国他游览了许多地方,最后定居下来。

Zài Zhōngguó tā yóulǎn le xǔduō dìfāng, zuìhòu dìngjū xiàlái.

(In China he traveled to many places, finally he settled down.)

b. 他游览了许多地方,最后在中国定居下来。

Ta yóulǎn le xǔduō dìfang, zuìhòu zài Zhōngguó dìngjū xiàlái.

(He traveled to many places, finally he settled down in China.)

In (a), the sentence adverbial ‘zài Zhōngguó’ (in China) is interpreted as applying to the two clauses, so we understand that the subject referent finally settled down in China, even though the adverbial of position is not explicitly expressed in the second clause. While in (b), the predication adverbial is only related to the second clause where it occurs, so the first clause would be interpreted as ‘he traveled around the world or to some other places, and finally he settled down in China’.

[1] Loar, J. K. (2011). Chinese syntactic grammar: functional and conceptual principles. New York: Peter Lang.
answered Apr 29, 2021 by Ariel (34,480 points)

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