City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
0 like 0 dislike
39 views
asked Aug 16 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,480 points) | 39 views

1 Answer

0 like 0 dislike
Directional compound complements (DCC) in Mandarin Chinese are composed of two types of verbs. One denotes the direction of a movement, the other the orientation of a movement towards the speaker. They belong to closed classes and their members are limited to eight for the type denoting direction, and to two for the type denoting orientation.

The directional type consists of the following eight, of which four are in pairs of opposites:

上 Shàng : ascend = up

下 xià : descend = down

进 jìn: enter = in

出 chū : exit = out

Another four directional verbs are not paired:

回 huí : return = back

过 guò : cross, pass = past, over

开 kāi : open = away, apart

起 qǐ: rise = up

The two orientation complements are verbs 来‘lái’ (come, towards the speaker) and 去‘qù’ (go, away from the speaker).

All ten can be used as main verbs. For example: ‘Tā lái’ (she comes), ‘Wǒ qù’ (I go), ‘shàng jiē’ (go (to the) street/go shopping), ‘shàng lóu’ (go upstairs) ‘xià chē’ (get off a bus/train), ‘xià lóu’ (go downstairs), ‘jìn wū’ (enter (the) house), ‘chūguó’ (go abroad), ‘huí jiā’ (go home), ‘guò qiáo’ (cross (the) bridge), ‘kāi mén’ (open (the) door), ‘qǐ chuáng’ (get up), etc. Each one, functioning as a simple directional complement, can also combine with a manner-of-motion and a displacement verb (which inherently implies the direct object undergoes a change of location). For instance: ‘pá shàng’ (climb up), ‘huá xià’ (glide down), ‘zǒu jìn’ (walk in), ‘pǎo chū’ (run out), ‘jì huí’ (mail back), ‘fēi guò’ (fly over), ‘lā kāi’ (pull open), ‘jǔ qǐ’ (raise up), ‘ná lái’ (bring (here)), ‘dài qù’ (take (there)), etc.

[1] Loar, J. K. (2011). Chinese syntactic grammar: functional and conceptual principles. New York: Peter Lang.
answered Aug 16 by Ariel (34,480 points)

1,435 questions

1,732 answers

21 comments

12,674 users

1,435 questions
1,732 answers
21 comments
12,674 users