City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Aug 4 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,480 points) | 17 views

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Empirical data shows that only the subcategory of property adjective can act as a resultative complement, combining with an Activity verb to form a RVC. as shown:

1a. 张三哭红了眼睛。

Zhāng Sān kū hóng le yǎnjing.

(Zhang San cried and as a result his eyes became red.)

1b. 李四愁白了头发。

Lǐ Sì chóu bái le tóufa.

(Li Si was worried and as a result his hair became grey.)

In (1a) and (1b), the adjectives ‘hóng’ (red) and ‘bái’ (grey) describe the states of Zhangsan’s eyes and Lisi’s hair. They are not the intrinsic states, but the resultant states brought about by the dynamic activity of ‘crying’ and the mental activity of ‘worrying’. So, the two adjectives are inchoative verbs. Adjectives depicting states cannot be candidates for V2, because they only express states that are not subject to change.

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

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