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 (34,480 points) | 17 views

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Viewpoint adverbials are realized by prepositional phrases like: ‘cóng/yī…lái kàn’ (from the viewpoint of…), ‘jiù…láishuō’ (concerning…), ‘zài…shàng’ (in…respect), ‘jiù/cóng…lái kàn…’ (as far as…is concerned). Viewpoint adverbials are one type of attitudinal adverbials. They can be roughly paraphrased as ‘if we consider what we are saying from the viewpoint of the NP’, this NP is the object NP of the preposition in the prepositional phrases mentioned above. In (1a), for example: ‘cóng zhèngzhì shang kàn’ can be paraphrased as ‘if we view the issue from the viewpoint of politics’. Consider:

1a. 从政治上看, 这个问题并不简单。

Cóng zhèngzhì shang kànzhège wèntí bìngbù jiǎndān.

(Viewed politically, it was not a simple problem.)

1b. 在地理位置上,种族上,以及文化语言上,这些岛屿与大陆的关系比其与邻近岛屿的关系更为亲密。

Zài dìlǐ wèizhi shangzhǒngzú shangyǐjí wénhuà yǔyán shangzhèxiē dǎoyǔ yǔ

dàlù de guānxi bǐ qí yú línjìn dǎoyǔ de guānxi gèngwéi qīnmì.

(Geographically, ethnically, culturally and linguistically, these islands are closer to

the mainland than to their neighboring islands.)

1c. 在音乐方面,这位数学家也颇具才华。

Zài yīnyuè fāngmiàn,zhè wèishù xué jiā yě pō jù cáihuá.

(With respect to music, this mathematician is also quite talented.)

1d. 就词汇标准来看,普通话以北方话为基础方言。

Jiù cíhuì biāozhǔn lái kànPǔtōnghuà yǐ běifānghuà wéi jīchǔ fāngyán.

(As far as the standard of vocabulary is concerned, the common speech is based on

the northern dialect.)

1e. 依我来看,政治改革比经济改革更为重要。

Yī wǒ lái kànzhèngzhì gǎigé bǐ jīngjì gǎigé gèngwéi zhòngyào

(From my viewpoint, political reform is more important than economic reform. )

Viewpoint adverbials tend to function as sentential adverbials qualifying the whole sentence, so they occur in front of a sentence. Semantically they overlap with adverbials of respect, which identify a relevant point of reference, in respect of which the clause concerned derives its truth value. For instance, (1a) can be paraphrased as ‘With respect to geography, ethnic, culture, and linguistics, the

proposition holds true that these islands are closer to the mainland than to their neighboring islands’.

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

answered Jun 10 by Ariel (34,480 points)

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