City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Aug 15 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,480 points)
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‘dào’ (arrive): The basic invariant meaning of ‘dào’ as an independent verb is ‘to arrive’. It can function as a ‘phase’ resultative complement, that is, “…it expresses something more like the type of action described by the first verb, or the degree to which it is carried out than its result” (Li & Thompson, 1981: 65). Combined with an Activity verb and followed by a locative NP, it refers to arriving at the destination or a goal because of the action named by V1 1); when followed by a temporal NP, it refers to the time that the action of V1 continues up to 2); combined with a stative verb or an adjective, it means reaching a certain degree of the state 3). The invariant meaning of ‘dào’ (arrive) connotes reaching the goal or obtaining success in the event denoted by V1 4). The following are examples:

1. 跑/走/爬/跳/游 + 到

pǎo/zǒu/pá/tiào/yóu + dào

run/walk/crawl/jump/swim to

跑到村口/爬到山顶/跳到树上/游到对岸

pǎodào cūnkǒu/pá dào shāndǐng/tiào dào shù shang/yóu dào duì'àn

run to the village entrance/climb to the top of the hill/jump onto the tree/swim to the

opposite bank

2. 工作/写/看/睡/刮 + 到

gōngzuò/xiě/kàn/shuì/guā + dào

work/write/read/sleep/(wind) blow to

工作到半夜/写到天亮/看到八点/睡到中午/大风刮到天黑

gōngzuò dào bànyè/xiědào tiānliàng/kàndào bā diǎn/shuì dào zhōngwǔ/dàfēng guā dào tiānhēi

[1] Loar, J. K. (2011). Chinese syntactic grammar: functional and conceptual principles. New York: Peter Lang.
answered Aug 15 by Ariel (34,480 points)

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