City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
0 like 0 dislike
60 views
asked Aug 15 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,480 points)
recategorized Oct 18 by admin | 60 views

1 Answer

0 like 0 dislike
‘zháo’ (touch, contact): The basic invariant meaning of ‘zháo’ is ‘hit the target, touch the essential point’, it connotes goal or result. Differing from the verb ‘jiàn’, ‘zháo’ often combines with a verb of volition as a phase resultative complement, expressing the extent or degree to which the action named by V1 is carried out. The RVC formed by the resultative complement ‘zháo’ are:

查/借/买/等/抓/打/踢/猜/见/看 + 着

chá/jiè/mǎi/děng/zhuā/dǎ/tī/cāi/jiàn/kàn + zháo

look up/borrow/buy/wait for/grab/hit/kick/guess/meet/look + zháo (touch, contact)

(reach the goals aimed at by the actions denoted by each verb, e.g., ‘tīzháo qiu’ means ‘succeeded in kicking the ball’)

Remembering the basic invariant meaning ‘hit the target’ of ‘zháo’, it is not difficult to understand and learn to use those RVCs formed by ‘zháo’. For instance ‘Tā de diànhuà hàomǎ chá zháo le’ (I looked up and found his phone number), ‘Nà běn shū mǎi zháo le’ (I succeeded in buying the book). The subject referent, with a specific goal or target in his mind, takes active action of looking up somebody’s phone number in the phone book, and as a result, he ‘hits the target’— the number that he is searching for. The same explanation applies to the second example sentence.

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

1,520 questions

1,796 answers

21 comments

15,075 users

1,520 questions
1,796 answers
21 comments
15,075 users