City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Jun 18 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,470 points) | 14 views

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Adverbials of position and of time are seen to be relatively peripheral, so they can be moved to the initial position as the sentential adverbial with ease:

1a. 午夜零点零五分(time adv.)飞机在北京首都机场(positional adv.)安全地降落(manner adv.)。

Wǔyè língdiǎn líng wǔfēn fēijī zài Běijīng shǒudū jīchǎng ānquán de jiàngluò.

(The airplane landed safely at Capital Airport in Beijing at 12: 05 midnight.)

1b. 飞机午夜零点零五分(time adv.)在北京首都机场(positional adv.)安全地降落(manner adv.)。

Fēijī wǔyè língdiǎn líng wǔfēn zài Běijīng shǒudū jīchǎng ānquán de jiàngluò.

(The airplane landed safely at the Capital Airport in Beijing at 12: 05 midnight.)

The time adverbial in (1a) is ordered initially as the sentential adverbial modifying the whole sentence. Sentences of (1a, b) exemplify that a time and position adverbial are arrayed before other adverbials because they set up a temporal and spatial frame within which an action takes place.

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

answered Jun 18 by Ariel (34,470 points)

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