City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Apr 29 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (31,850 points) | 15 views

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Adverbials of source can involve direction, so in this subsection we will discuss the two types of adverbials together. Adverbials of source/origin are expressed with the prepositional phrases 由/从+NPloc ‘yóu/cóng + NPloc’ (from…). Adverbials of direction are composed of the phrases 朝/向/往+ NPloc ‘cháo/xiàng/wǎng + NPloc’ (toward…). 沿着‘yánzhe’ (along) expresses movement along a certain route or course. The prepositional phrases of 朝/向/往+ NPloc  ‘cháo/xiàng/wǎng (toward, to) + NPloc’ may refer to directional path without specifying position or location, as in:

1a.火车向北开。

Huǒchē xiàng běi kāi.

(The train was heading northward.)

1b.他们家院子的大门朝南开。

Tāmen jiā yuànzide dàmén cháo nán kāi.

(The gate of their yard is towards the south.)

Or it can refer to direction along with a location implied:

2a. 一群男孩子朝/向/往 山下走去。

Yī qún nánháizi cháo/xiàng/wǎng shān xià zǒuqù.

(A group of boys were walking down the hill.)

2b. 湖面上的风把小船一直向南推去。

Húmiàn shàng de fēng bǎ xiǎochuán yīzhí xiàng nán tuī qù

(The wind on the lake continuously pushed the little boat towards the south. )

In (2a, b), the locations can be inferred as ‘on the hill’ and ‘on the lake’, and the direction is ‘down the hill’ and ‘towards the south’ respectively.

[1] Loar, J. K. (2011). Chinese syntactic grammar: functional and conceptual principles. New York: Peter Lang.

answered Apr 29 by Ariel (31,850 points)

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