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)
retagged Jun 18 by Ariel | 20 views

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‘X zài Y pángbiān’ (X is beside Y) (e.g., Qiú zài zhuōzi pángbiān) (The ball is beside the table.): The compound position noun ‘Y pángbiān’ refers to the sides of or to the domain/space projected horizontally outward from a side of the reference object. Laterality obtains if the located object is on or has contact with a side, or occupies a position in the space horizontally projected from a side of the reference object.

1a. 医院旁边是星星超级市场。

Yīyuàn pángbiān shì xīngxīng chāojí shìchǎng.

(Beside the hospital is Star Supermarket.)

1b. 小明坐在妈妈旁边。

Xiǎo Míng zuòzài māma pángbiān.

(Xiao Ming was sitting beside his mother.)

1c. 书架的旁边贴着一张作息时间表。

Shūjià de pángbiān tiē zhe yī zhāng zuòxī shíjiānbiǎo.

(On the side of the bookshelf was glued a daily schedule.)

The located object ‘Star Supermarket’ occupies the space horizontally projected from a side of the reference object ‘the hospital’ in (1a), in (1b), the located object ‘Xiǎo Míng’ occupies the space projected laterally from the reference object ‘māma’, or he may have some contact with her. Obviously, the daily ‘schedule’ is on a lateral side of and thus has coincidence relation with the reference object ‘the bookshelf’ in (1c), and the two spatial relations ‘coincidence’ and ‘laterality’ interact with each other.

[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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