City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
0 like 0 dislike
asked Nov 15, 2021 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by M (4,830 points) | 281 views

1 Answer

0 like 0 dislike

哪 na3 ‘which’ is an interrogative determinative. When the DET position is occupied with 哪, the noun phrase refers a subset to be identified from a known set, as illustrated below,


ni3 jie4 le0 na3 ji3 ben3 shu1

you borrow LE which several CL book

‘Which books did you borrow?’

哪in DET potentially has another distinctive reading. It is similar to the existential quantifier 任何 ren4he2 ‘any’ in DET, or falls under the scope of the inclusive adverb 都 dou1 ‘all’, or a negatively oriented polarity-sensitive one in a non-affirmative context, as shown below,


nin2 yao4 jian4 na3 wei4 lao3shi1 ma0

you want see which CL teacher MA

‘Do you want to see any teacher?’


ta1 na3 zhong3 qun2zi0 dou1 gan3 chuan1

she which CL skirt all dare wear

‘She dares to wear any kind of skirt.’


bu4guan3 ni3 qu4 na3li3 dou1 bu4neng2 wang4 le0 wo3

no_matter you go where all cannot forget LE I

‘No matter where you go, don’t forget me.’


Shi, Dingxu. 2016. Nouns and nominal phrases. In A Reference Grammar of Chinese, eds. by Chu-Ren Huang and Dingxu Shi. Cambridge University Press.

answered Nov 15, 2021 by M (4,830 points)

1,616 questions

1,882 answers


15,645 users

1,616 questions
1,882 answers
15,645 users