There is a lot a gramma points/words in chinese similar to english

生日/ birthday

爸爸的笔 / dad's pen

I would like know if it's a radom linguisitic fact or if it could have a chinese influence on english or an english influence on chinese.

I know it is not a simple question but maybe there is studies(thesis...) about that.

  • You mean this? 爸爸的笔 – Universal Electricity Sep 1 '15 at 13:51
  • I was about to fix it. – Christophe Debove Sep 1 '15 at 13:53
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    Why would these be different? Just because it's an other language, that does not mean that things have to be totally different. – imrek Sep 1 '15 at 15:00
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    From the examples they are quite universal, meta-language constructs. You may get more thoughtful answers on Linguistics SE. – NS.X. Sep 1 '15 at 18:01
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    English and Chinese, or Chinese and any Western language, have only influenced each other with a few loan words (沙发, 模特, 碧池, 卡通, tea, ketchup, gonghe [”gungho”], kuli etc.). Grammar rules exist in a few varieties that are quite universal. English is in the Indo-European branch, while Chinese is in the Sino-Tibetan, there is absolutely no diffusion in either direction for these families. – user4452 Sep 1 '15 at 20:06

For 爸爸的笔 / dad's pen, it's not coincident. In linguistics, most languages sentences are in the form of Subject + verb + object. Chinese and English are not genetically related to each other, but they have the same sentence form grammatically.

For 生日/ birthday, I really can't comment on the universal aspect this in sense, as I only understand 3 languages, Chinese, English and Malay. In Malay, it's called "Hari Jadi" which literally means "Day Birth"(In Malay language noun comes first and adjective second). Therefore, I think most languages have some form of "Day" and "Birth" phrases to describe "Birthday". Not just Chinese and English.

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  • thank you for answering, for "爸爸的笔" I was talking about the possession aspect with 的 and 's. you say this is not a coincident but you're not telling why, you're just tell me "the same sentence form grammatically", I'm trying to understand the origin of this similarity. – Christophe Debove Sep 1 '15 at 15:36
  • Sorry I don't really understand their origin. From my experience, I think it's just the way human need a word to reflect on "possession". Take Chinese and Japanese for example. They are completely not related to each other. But the word "的“ and "の” function exactly the same. – Steven Sep 1 '15 at 16:02
  • there are many language that don't have this particle, like french use only mon, ma, mes, english there is my as well, spanish have mi mis. but not such "'s" or "的" . – Christophe Debove Sep 1 '15 at 16:22
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    In Spanish 生日 is cumpleaños = complete years, which torpedoes the thought that birthday will always be the combination of birth + day in any given language. You may have to scratch deeper in the dust of time for an answer. – Pedroski Sep 1 '15 at 22:45

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