City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Aug 5 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,480 points) | 22 views

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Stative verbs that describe pure states are not eligible to act as V1. They include stative verbs denoting relations and expressing absolute state such as ‘bāohán’ (contain, include), ‘zǔchéng’ (consist), ‘shì’ (be), ‘yǒu’ (have), ‘yōngyǒu’ (own), ‘xiàng’ (resemble), ‘zhí ’ (be worthy), etc. All these verbs denote an absolute state that continues for an indefinite length of time without an endpoint, so the notion of an endpoint implied by the V2 of the RVC would conflict with the inherent aspectual properties of such stative verbs. For this reason they cannot combine with a resultative complement. In addition, states are homogeneous; they are incapable of any dynamic change, while V1 in the construction of the RVC must be subject to change or development. Hence states are inadmissible to act as V1.

However, verbs of stance or posture like ‘zuò’ (sit), ‘tǎng’ (lie) and ‘zhàn’ (stand) can combine with a resultative complement, for instance ‘zuòhǎo’ (sit straight), ‘zuòduānzhèng’, (sit up straight), etc. Verbs of stance denote states of posture, they differ from absolute states in that the states they represent are subject to change, and the subject referent can control the state of his posture like sitting or lying, etc. Therefore, they are partially like Activity verbs, thus they can function as V1 in the RVC.

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

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