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Making Sense of Grammar
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What is the function of grammatical construction "連 … 也/都…"?
asked Mar 15, 2018 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by admin (23,690 points)

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 li´an(連) . . . y˘e (也) / d¯ou (都) a special construction denoting extremity. The constituent inside (li´an) . . . y˘e/d¯ou is the focus of the sentence representing a certain extreme value. Note that the parenthesis around li´an marks it as an optional element, and the slash between 也/都 signals that only one of these is needed in each occurrence.

他今天連魚肉都不想吃 (t¯a j¯ınti¯an li´an y´u r`ou y˘e b`u xi˘ang ch¯ı/ He didn’t even want to eat fish and meat.) 

→   "fish and meat" represent the extreme category: the kind of food that he likes most.  → This sentence is an emphatic statement of the poor appetite of the doer implying that someone’s appetite is so bad that the person involved does not even want to eat his favorite food.

都不想吃 (li´an t¯a d¯ou b`u xi˘ang ch¯ı/ Even he didn’t want to eat it.)

→ "He" falls into the extreme category → This sentence implies that the food is so bad that even the doer, a person who is most likely to eat things that other people would be unwilling to eat, cannot stand it.

Reference: Chinese: a linguistic introduction by Chao Fen Sun

answered Mar 15, 2018 by admin (23,690 points)
edited Apr 26, 2018 by admin
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