City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Aug 4, 2021 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,480 points) | 51 views

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The resultative verb compound in Mandarin Chinese is, very roughly, a compound verb made up of two elements, the first indicating an action and the second the result of that action. We will refer to the two elements of an RVC as V1 and V2 respectively. V2, that is the resultative complement, extends the action of V1 towards some kind of resultant state. The state may be a physical state like ‘kāi’ (open), as in ‘dǎkāi mén’ (open (the) door), ‘suì’ (break to pieces), e.g., ‘dǎsuì bōli’ (break (the) glass); a mental state like ‘dǒng’ (understand), e.g., ‘tīngdǒng yǔfǎ’ (listen and as a result understand the grammar), ‘míngbai’ (clear), e.g., ‘tīng míngbai le tāde huà’ (listen and as a result understand his words); the state of a quality like ‘hóng’ (red), e. g. ‘kū hóng yǎnjing’ (the eyes become red as a result of crying); or at a different phase of the development of an event like ‘hǎo’ (completed and ready), e.g., ‘zuòhǎo fàn’ (finish cooking a meal), ‘xiěwán zuòyè’ (finish doing homework), etc. All these complements signal result or goal of the action or process conveyed by the first verb.

[1] Loar, J. K. (2011). Chinese syntactic grammar: functional and conceptual principles. New York: Peter Lang.
answered Aug 4, 2021 by Ariel (34,480 points)

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