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Making Sense of Grammar
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How does nominalization operate in Chinese discourse? 
asked Feb 1, 2018 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by admin (23,690 points)

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Chinese nominalization involves the placement of DE (的) after an otherwise verb phrase, or sentence. For instance,  adding DE (的) to the end of the verb phrase 看電影 (kàn diàn yǐng/ to see a movie) transforms the phrase into a noun phrase 看電影的 (k`an d`ıan-y˘ıng de/ those who saw a movie). 

Also, when DE (的) is added to the end of the verb  (ch¯ı/ eat), the verb is transformed into the noun phrase 吃的 (ch¯ı de/ food).

It is worth mentioning that the nominalizer DE can also be placed after a pronoun turning it into a nominal like the English mine, yours, his, hers or theirs.

你 (n˘ı/ you) → 你的 (n˘ı de/ yours)

Furthermore, Chinese nominalization regularly deletes one of the two arguments for a transitive verb. For example, the doer is unspecified in the noun phrase 看電影的 (k`an d`ıan-y˘ıng de/ those who saw a movie). Sometimes, the doer or the undergoer or both can be unspecified. 

Reference: Chinese: a linguistic introduction by Chao Fen Sun

answered Feb 1, 2018 by admin (23,690 points)
edited Apr 26, 2018 by admin
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