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) | 22 views

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Location is the relative spatial fixedness of entities, though intuitively, it looks to be a stable spatial point in our projected world, but in truth it involves dependencies between two or more entities (Frawley, 1992: 254). To see the nature of location clearly, consider the following expression of location:

  1. 球在桌子上(边)。

Qiú zài zhuōzi shàng (bian).

(The ball is on the table.)

In the situation denoted by (1), we see that there are two entities: One is ‘qiú’ ((the) ball), which bears the spatial dependency of ‘being on’ to the other entity ‘zhuōzi shàngbian’ (the top of the table), it has contact with and is supported by the other object. Following the study of location, we refer to the first member in the relation (i.e., the ball) as the located object, and the second member (i.e., the top of the table) as the reference object. The notion of location is thus the relation between the located object and the reference object. Hence the notions of position and place, which intuitively appear to be stable points in our projected world, are in truth dependencies between a locative object and a reference object, not static positions or places at all (Frawley, 1992).

[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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