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 (34,480 points) | 21 views

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The order between a general noun and a position noun is controlled by the Chinese conceptual Principle ‘Whole-Before-Part’. This principle is operative in the linearization of units expressing address, time, and in the expressions of percentage, fraction and other respects, for instance we Chinese say:

1a. 中国北京王府井大街33号

Zhōngguó Běijīng Wángfǔ jǐng dàjiē 33 hào

(33 Wangfu jing Avenue, Beijing, China)

1b. 二零零六年三月二十一号下午四点十分

èr líng líng liù nián Sānyuè èrshíyī hào xiàwǔ sì diǎn shífēn

(four o’clock and ten, afternoon, March twenty-first, 2006)

1c. 百分之二十,三分之一

bǎi fēn zhī èrshí,sānfēn zhīyī

(twenty percent, one third)

1d. 西瓜皮,黄瓜籽

xīguāpí,huánggua zǐ

(the skin of watermelon, the seeds of cucumber)

1e. 十个人中两个是日本人。

Shí gèrén zhōng liǎng gè shì Rìběnrén.

(Two were Japanese among the ten people.)

1f. 五个桔子烂了两个。

Wǔ gè júzi làn le liǎng gè.

(Two oranges were rotten among the five ones.)

[1] Loar, J. K. (2011). Chinese syntactic grammar: functional and conceptual principles. New York: Peter Lang.
answered Jun 18 by Ariel (34,480 points)

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