City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Jun 20 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,470 points) | 16 views

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Location itself is the dependency relation between the located object and the reference object, and the abstract relation underlying spatial relations is ‘X is spatially related to Y’. To express the spatial relations between X and Y, we could say that the located object X exits in the reference object, such an idea is encoded by the sentence pattern ‘X zài Y’; or we could say that ‘there is a located object in the reference object’ (there is X in Y), this idea is encoded by the sentence pattern ‘Y yǒu X’. Thus the Chinese language encodes locations or spatial relations by employing three sentence structures: they are the existential ‘yǒu’ sentence, the locative ‘zài’ sentence and the identifying ‘shì’ sentence. The selection of a certain structure depends on the information status of the located and reference objects and the speaker’s perspective or his focus. We will start with a discussion of the existential ‘yǒu’ sentence pattern.

[1] Loar, J. K. (2011). Chinese syntactic grammar: functional and conceptual principles. New York: Peter Lang.
answered Jun 20 by Ariel (34,470 points)

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1,435 questions
1,732 answers
21 comments
11,701 users