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Making Sense of Grammar
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What are the functions of LAI (來) and QU (去) in serial-verb construction? 
asked Feb 22, 2018 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by admin (23,690 points)
edited Mar 26, 2018 by admin

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In serial-verb construction, lái (來) and qù (去) function as purposive markers which occur between the two verb phrases. The VP after the purposive l´ai (來) or qù (去) is the focused VP indicating the cause or purpose.

→ 他們上樓去/來睡覺 (t¯a-men sh`ang l´ou q`u/l´ai shu`ıji`ao/ They went upstairs in order to sleep.)

 Lái (來) and qù (去) can also function as deictic markers, indicating the location of the speaker.

Reference: Chinese: a linguistic introduction by Chao Fen Sun

answered Feb 22, 2018 by admin (23,690 points)
edited Apr 26, 2018 by admin
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