City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Jun 4 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (31,850 points) | 12 views

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The forward span expression realized by the prepositional phrase 直到/到‘zhídào/dào(up to, until/(arrive) to, up to) + NP’ occurs after a durative verb (e.g., work, as in 工作到五点‘gōngzuò dào wǔdiǎn’ (work to five o’clock)) or a stative verb (e.g., 住‘zhù’(live), as in 住到夏天‘zhùdào xiàtiān’ (live to the summer)) in positive sentences; it functions as the clause element of complement. The order is required by the PTS, because, first, the durative action starts from the speaker’s ‘now’ (implied in the context) and continues to the time expressed by the 到‘dào’ or 直到‘zhídào’ prepositional phrase—a point in the future in relation to the speaker’s ‘now’. This point in time also signals the terminal point of the action or state. Therefore, the verb到/来‘dào/lái’ is placed after the time expression, which functions as the adverbial of time, as required by the PTSC. From the above analysis, we see that the positions of the forward span expressions with regard to the verb they modify are governed by the two principles, PTS and PTSC.

[1] Loar, J. K. (2011). Chinese syntactic grammar: functional and conceptual principles. New York: Peter Lang.
answered Jun 4 by Ariel (31,850 points)

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