City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Nov 15, 2021 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by M (4,230 points) | 25 views

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The existential quantifier 任何 ren4he2 ‘any’ can appear in DET and the nominal phrase either represents a free choice or an item in a non-affirmative context.

A free choice 任何 indicates that an arbitrary subset can be selected from a known set and the predicate applies to that subset. For example,

付款后顾客可以拿走任何一筐鱼。

fu4kuan3 hou4 gu4ke4 ke3yi3 na2zou3 ren4he2 yi1 kuang1 yu2

pay_a_sum_of_money after customer may take_away any one CL fish

‘The customer can take away any basket of fish after he has paid the money.’

A non-affirmative 任何 appears in the scope of negation.

考试期间不准任何学生离开。

kao3shi4 qi1jian1 bu4zhun3 ren4he2 xue2sheng1 li2kai1

test period forbid any student leave

‘Do not let any student leave during the exam period.’

Reference:

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 (4,230 points)

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