City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Jun 10 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,470 points) | 13 views

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1. 他工作认真。

Tā gōngzuò rènzhēn.

(He has been conscientious about his work.)

The truth value or force of such a sentence can be enhanced or diminished

by adverbials. We can use adverbials to emphasize the positive or negative poles

of the statement, as:

2a. 他工作确实认真。

Tā gōngzuò quèshí rènzhēn.

(He has certainly been conscientious about his work.)

2b. 他工作根本不认真。

Tā gōngzuò gēnběn bú rènzhēn.

(He has not been conscientious at all about his work.)

In sentences of (2), the adverbials ‘quèshí’ (indeed) and ‘gēnběn’ (fundamental, at all) increase the truth value of the two extreme cases ‘being conscientious’ and ‘being not conscientious’. So the adverbials play the role of qualifying the speaker’s statement with respect to the actuality and validity of the statement.

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

answered Jun 10 by Ariel (34,470 points)

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