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Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Jun 18 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,470 points) | 20 views

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The subject-oriented and manner adverbials are ordered after the adverbials of time and place, which serve to set up a temporal and spatial frame within which the event takes place. In addition, such an order is required by the PTS, because in the real world, first of all, time, which is generally conceived as a constantly moving entity, must progress to the moment when the event is to begin. Second, the subject referent must be present at that time at the location where the event happens. Third, with a certain kind of physical or psychological state depicted by a subject-oriented adverbial, the subject

participant begins to execute the action or event. Hence the subject-oriented adverbial follows the temporal/positional adverbial, where it is close both to the subject and the verb that it is related to. Fourth, motional verbs and other verbs involving the notion of source and direction may take adverbials of source and direction. As source or direction is, in fact, integrated into the action, adverbials of source or direction are ordered close to the VP. This accounts for their occurrence after subject-oriented adverbials. Fifth, an adverbial of manner specifies the manner in which the action is carried out, so it is so closely related to the verb that it is placed nearest the verb and prior to the verb in terms of the PTS. Generally, adverbials of manner succeed subject-oriented adverbials and/or adverbials of source and direction, if they are present. However, as adverbials of source/direction and manner are all bound up with the verb, their positions are interchangeable. To illustrate the above generalization, consider the following example:

1a. 孩子们刚才(time adv.)高高兴兴地(subj. adv.)连蹦带跳地(manner adv.)向公园(direction adv.)奔去。

Háizimen gāogāoxìngxìng de liánpǎodàitiào de xiàng gōngyuán bēn qù.

(Happily, the children ran to the park by trotting and skipping.)

1b. 孩子们刚才(time adv.)高高兴兴地(subj. adv.)向公园(direction adv.)连蹦带跳地(manner adv.)奔去。

Háizimen gāogāoxìngxìng de xiàng gōngyuán liánpǎodàitiào de bēn qù.

(Happily, the children ran to the park by trotting and skipping.)

In (1a), the order of the series of adverbials is ‘tim – subject-oriented –manner – direction’. It is interchangeable with the order of (1b): ‘time – subject -oriented – direction – manner’.

[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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