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) | 16 views

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‘yǒudiǎnr’ (kind of), ‘yǒuxiē/lüèwēi/shāowēi’ (a sort of), ‘xiēxǔ’ (somewhat), ‘duōduōshǎoshǎo’ (more or less), etc.’

1a. 我有点儿喜欢他。

Wǒ yǒu diǎner xǐhuān tā.

(I kind of like him.)

[*但实际上我不喜欢他。]

[*Dàn shíjìshàng wǒ bù xǐhuān tā.]

[*But in fact I do not like him.]

1b. 他走起路来有些摇摇晃晃。

Tā zǒuqǐ lù lái yǒuxiē yáoyáohuànghuang.

(He walked with somewhat faltering steps.)

[* 但实际上他走得很稳。]

[*Dàn shíjìshang tā zǒu dehěn wěn.]

[* But in fact, he walked steadily.]

1c. 他有些反感父母的干预。

Tā yǒuxiē fǎngǎn fùmǔde gānshè.

(He somewhat resented his parents’ intervention.)

As shown by the examples, the downtoners have a slight lowering effect, they reduce the force of the verbs they apply to, and tend to call into question the appropriateness of the verbs concerned. But this does not mean that we could deny the truth value of what is denoted by the verb, this point is proved by the unacceptability of the sentences within the brackets.

[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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1,439 questions
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21 comments
12,845 users