City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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Why is 打毛衣 acceptable, while *打衣服 is not?
asked Apr 6, 2018 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by admin (25,540 points)
edited Apr 26, 2018 by admin | 181 views

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“打” is an action of hand, which is the basic semantic feature of “打”. 

The verb phrase 打毛衣 is lexicalized to denote the action of "knitting." The lexicalization of this phrase is centered on the noun 毛衣. On the other hand, in the verb phrase 打衣服, the noun 衣服 doesn't serve the same function. Therefore, 打 only conveys the core meaning of hit in this phrase. 

answered Apr 6, 2018 by admin (25,540 points)
edited Apr 13, 2018 by admin

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