City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Aug 5, 2021 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,480 points) | 131 views

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In Chinese there is a class of verb compound with V2 implying attainment of a goal or result. Examples are: ‘biǎomíng’ (make clear), ‘huòdé’ (obtain), ‘juédé’ (feel), ‘rèndé’ (recognize), ‘juédìng’ (decide, fix), ‘xiǎndé’ (seem, appear), etc. In this type of verb compound, the second verb morphemes ‘míng’ (clear), ‘dé’ (obtain) or ‘dìng’ (fix, set), strongly suggest goal and result, so they cannot take a resultative complement. The explanation provided above carries over to them, too.

1a. *她把意思表明{清楚}了。

Tā bǎ yìsi biǎomíng qīngchu le.

(Int: *He made his meaning clear clear.)

1b. *她们获得{到}了极大的成绩。

Tāmen huòdé dào le jídà de chéngjī.

(Int: *They have obtained and reached tremendous success.)

[1] Loar, J. K. (2011). Chinese syntactic grammar: functional and conceptual principles. New York: Peter Lang.
answered Aug 5, 2021 by Ariel (34,480 points)

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