Show Less

Chinese Syntactic Grammar

Functional and Conceptual Principles


Jian Kang Loar

Chinese Syntactic Grammar: Functional and Conceptual Principles is unique in that it discusses the organizational principles of Chinese syntactic structures in terms of conceptual and functional principles, which are iconic and hence are easy to understand and apply. The organizational principles mainly comprise the three Chinese conceptual principles of Temporal Sequence, Temporal Scope, and Whole-Before-Part (Tai, 1985) and the two functional principles of Communicative Dynamism and the Principle of Topic-End Focus. By analyzing the semantic roles of each clause element, Chinese Syntactic Grammar reveals that the conceptual principles play a crucial role in organizing ideas and bringing units (such as subject, verb, and object) together to form grammatical sequences, which manifest S (A) V O (C), which is the basic Chinese word order. The functional principles control and govern variations of the basic sentence structure, which are motivated to facilitate effective communication and achieve specific communicative goals, thus generating several special structures, including the Bá/Bèi/null Bèi sentences, etc. The variant forms are motivated to achieve special communicative goals, and to facilitate effective communication.
Another feature of the book is that it focuses on reasons, rather than merely on a description of rules. The language is lucid, and the arguments are cogent. The scope and depth of the investigation make the volume one of the most thorough and relatively complete pedagogical reference books. Chinese Syntactic Grammar can serve as a textbook for training professional CFL teachers. It is a must-read book for Mandarin Chinese teachers as a handy manual, also for intermediate and advanced Chinese learners if they want to have deeper insight into the nature of the Chinese language. Linguists who are interested in cognitive grammar and specialists across many fields including education, psychology, communication, and information science will find the book enlightening and interesting.


Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Chapter Three – The Verbal Complement and Clause Element of Complement 115


• C H A P T E R T H R E E • The Verbal Complement and Clause Element of Complement Chapter Three – Complements This chapter is devoted to a detailed investigation of a grammatical element pe- culiar to the Chinese language: complement. Complements comprise two types, one type is the verbal complement, which is an adjective, a verb or a directional verb that follows a verb or an adjective, expressing a change of state or a result. The verb compounds thus formed are resultative/directional verb compounds. The other type is the clause element of complement, which is a grammatical unit (made up of a verb/adjective, a nominal or a prepositional phrase, or a clause) that follows the VP or the predicate of a sentence, signaling the result or the re- sultative state of a participant associated with the situation named by the VP or the predicate. The Chinese language contains various types of complements: the action/time-measure complement, the potential complement, the resultative and descriptive complement, the complement of degree. These are the topics to be dealt with in the following sections. 3.1. Background Knowledge The resultative verb compound (RVC) is our first concern. To explain the re- straints imposed on the types of verb that can function as a resultative comple- ment, as well as for other purposes, it is useful to have some background knowledge. First, we should have some knowledge about the semantics of verbs and the classification of verbs or situation types. We will turn our attention...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.