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) | 41 views

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The resultative/directional verb compounds are closely related to the aspectual meaning of result. A detailed discussion of these two kinds of verb compounds calls for a brief review of the definition of aspect. Students are less familiar with the concept of aspect than with that of tense. Tense refers to the time context within which a situation (which is a cover term for events, activities or states) takes place. Tense is normally differentiated in three ways: past, present, and future. A marker of tense (e.g., in English, the general past tense marker is ‘V-ed’) relates the time when a situation happens to the time when the situation is brought up in speech. Chinese does not use verbal affixes to signal the relation between the time of occurrence of a situation and the time when the situation is mentioned in speech. Instead, Chinese uses time words or the context to indicate the time when a situation happens. For instance: ‘Zuótiān wǒ qù túshūguǎn le’ (Yesterday I went to the library). In this sentence the past action of going to the library is denoted by the time word ‘zuótiān’ (yesterday).

[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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