City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
0 like 0 dislike
18 views
asked Jun 18 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,480 points) | 18 views

1 Answer

0 like 0 dislike

1a. 那个人站在原地方,小心地(subj. adv.)两脚交替地(manner adv.)踏着。

Nà gè rén zhànzài yuán dìfāng, xiǎoxīn de liǎng jiǎo jiāotì de tà zhe.

(That person stood on the original spot, carefully stepping alternately with his two feet.)

1a’ *那个人站在原地方,两脚交替地(manner adv.)小心地(subj. adv.)踏着。

Nà gè rén zhànzài yuán dìfāng, liǎng jiǎo jiāotì de xiǎoxīn de tà zhe.

1b. 她同时看到,人们很快地(manner adv.)从四面八方(source adv.)跑过来。

Tā tóngshí kàn dào, rénmen hěn kuài de cóng sìmiànbāfāng pǎo guòlái.

(At the same time she saw that people quickly ran over from all directions.)

1b’ 她同时看到,人们从四面八方(source adv.)很快地(manner adv.)跑过来。

Tā tóngshí kàn dào, rénmen cóng sìmiànbāfāng hěn kuài de pǎo guòlái.

(At the same time she saw that people quickly ran over from all directions.)

1c. 小油轮突突地(manner adv.)向前(direction adv.)冲着。

Xiǎo yóulún tūtū de xiàngqián chōng zhe .

(The small oil tanker steamed forward making the noise ‘tu tu tu…’.)

1c’ 小油轮向前(direction adv.)突突地(manner adv.)冲着。

Xiǎo yóulún xiàngqián tūtū de chōng zhe .

(The small oil tanker steamed forward making the sound ‘tu tu tu…’)

In (1a), ‘xiǎoxīn de’ (carefully) is a subject-oriented adverbial, so it is positioned close to the subject and before the verb. The other adverbial is realized by the VP ‘liǎng jiǎo jiāotì (de)’ (the two feet alternately), it signifies the manner in which the action named by the verb ‘tà’ (step on) is executed, therefore it is placed in front of the verb in terms of the Principle of SP. (1a’) is unacceptable, for both the subject-oriented and manner adverbials are separated from the items they modify, thus violating the Principle of SP. (1b, b’) are both grammatical; but when the manner adverbial ‘hěn kuài de’ (fast) appears before the adverbial of source ‘cóng sìmiànbāfāng’ (from all directions), it applies to two actions: the action of starting from the source and the action of running, both actions are conducted quickly. This explanation is more reasonable, so (1b) is preferred. (1c’) is more preferable, because the onomatopoeia depicts the manner of the action of the oil tanker, so it occurs right before the verb.

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

answered Jun 18 by Ariel (34,480 points)

1,439 questions

1,736 answers

21 comments

12,845 users

1,439 questions
1,736 answers
21 comments
12,845 users