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) | 26 views

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An Accomplishment is usually composite, consisting of an Activity verb and a quantified object or a prepositional phrase denoting a goal. By these additions, an activity becomes a task with a defined conclusion. Examples are: ‘xiě yī/liǎng fēngxìn’ (write one/two letters), ‘chàng sān zhī gēr’ (sing three songs), ‘cóng jiā zǒudào xuéxiào’ (walk from home to school), etc. The actions of writing and singing are supposed to conclude when one/two letters, or three songs are finished, and the action of walking is completed when the person reaches his goal: the school. So these verb phrases all describe ‘bounded actions’. Besides these types of Accomplishments, we hold that in Mandarin Chinese, the resultative/ directional verb compounds (to be discussed shortly) are Accomplishments, also. The temporal schema of an Accomplishment is:

I - - - - - - - Fnat (R)

The ‘I’ is the initial point of an activity, the broken line represents successive internal stages, and ‘Fnat’ means a natural final point, (R) represents the result that obtains when the Accomplishment reaches its endpoint, for instance, when the action of writing a letter is finished, a letter comes into being and it is ready for mailing.

[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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