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) | 18 views

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Some Chinese grammarians hold that in the RVC, V1 denotes the reason or cause of V2, for instance in ‘hēzuì’ (drunk as a result of drinking), ‘drinking’ is the reason for being ‘intoxicated or drunk’, in ‘zǒu jìnlai’ (walk in) ‘walking’ is the reason for ‘entering’, in ‘gāoxìng de tiào le qǐlai’ (jumped up as a result of being so happy), ‘happy’ is the reason for ‘jumping up’, etc. It is not difficult to prove the implausibility of such an explanation. As we know, it is not true that drinking alcohol will definitely lead to being drunk, likewise ‘eating’ will not definitely results in ‘being full’. Only when the action of drinking or eating is conducted to a certain extent, can the result indicated by the resultative complement be achieved. Interpreting V1 as expressing reason or as indicating the manner of V2 will lead to a misunderstanding of the complex structure and the nature of 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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