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Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Apr 29 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,480 points) | 28 views

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Yes.

Adverbials of source and direction can co-occur, and they enter into a hierarchical relationship, with the adverbial of origin/source preceding that of direction. This order is required by the PTS, too.

1a. 中国的河流大都由西往东流。

Zhōngguó de héliú dàdōu yóu xī wǎng dōng liú.

(Most Chinese rivers flow from the west towards the east.)

1b. 黄昏时满月由东边升起,黎明时向西边沉落。

Huánghūn shí mǎnyuè yóu dōngbian shēngqǐ, límíng shí xiàng xībian chénluò.

(At dusk the full moon rose from the east, at dawn it was setting towards the west.)

1c. 冬季风由大陆吹{向海洋},天气寒冷干燥,夏季风由海洋吹{向大陆},天气炎热潮湿。

Dōng jìfēng yóu dàlù chuī {xiàng hǎiyáng},tiānqì hánlěng gānzào,xià jìfēng yóu hǎiyáng chuī {xiàng dàlù},tiānqì yánrè cháoshī.

(The winter monsoon blows to the sea from the continent, the weather is cold and dry; the summer monsoon blows to the continent from the sea, the weather is hot and wet.)

1d. 从山下往山上骑自行车特别吃力。

Cóng shān xià wǎng shān shàng qí zìxíngchē tèbié chīlì.

(To ride a bicycle from downhill to uphill entails strenuous effort.)

The adverbial ‘yóu/cóng’ phrases denote source or point of departure, while the adverbial ‘xiàng/wǎng’ phrases indicate destination or goal and direction as well. With directional meaning, the ‘xiàng’ or ‘wǎng’ phrase occurs before the verb, but after the adverbial of source, as shown by sentences of (1a, d), with the meaning of ‘intended destination or goal’, the ‘xiàng’ or ‘wǎng’ phrase is placed after the verb, as shown by (1c). According to Chinese conceptual structures, an action always starts from the point of departure, and goes in a certain direction, until it reaches its goal or destination. This explains the hierarchical relationship of source, direction and destination or goal when they co-occur in a sentence.

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

answered Apr 29 by Ariel (34,480 points)

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1,454 questions
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