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How to use relative clauses in Chinese?

asked Feb 13, 2018 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by admin (23,690 points)

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In Chinese, the phrase-structure rule for a relative clause can be rewritten as:
NP→(DP) S + DE (的) + (ADJ) N.


Note that the adjective modifying the head noun must be placed right after the relative marker DE (的).

Ex: 你的白馬 (n˘ı de b´ai m˘a/ Your white horse.)

Furthermore, the argument in a relative clause that is co-referential with the head noun must be omitted. For instance, in the relative clause 剛買的馬 (g¯ang m˘ai de m˘a/ the horse that was just bought), the head noun  (m˘a/ horse) is co-referential with the undergoer of the verb  (m˘ai/ to buy) in the relative clause and thus omitted within the clause.

Reference: Chinese: a linguistic introduction by Chao Fen Sun

answered Feb 13, 2018 by admin (23,690 points)
edited Apr 26, 2018 by admin
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