3

In some instances, 為 and 是 is interchangeable:

"未經許可而出口黃金就犯罪." ( exporting gold without permission would be committing a crime).

"未經許可而出口黃金就犯罪." ( exporting gold without permission would be "committing a crime).

Since '為' means 'be' here, my question is: What role is '之' playing in '為之'. As in "未經許可而出口黃金就為犯罪"

  1. Is 之 a modal particle just for emphasis?

  2. Is '為之' being a compound word for ' be equivalent to'? "未經許可而出口黃金就為之犯罪" ( exporting gold without permission would be equivalent to/ qualified as committing a crime).

  3. Is '之' functions as an objective pronoun.? "未經許可而出口黃金就為犯罪" "exporting gold without permission, it would be committing a crime."

  4. Or it should be '之' (be called as) , not '之'?

We are talking about '為之' in the context of '那就是為之犯罪', not in that of 好自為之/偶一為之, when '為' means 'do' and '之' being an objective pronoun; or 為之氣結, when '為' means 'for' and '之' being an objective pronoun

  • 1
    Where is the sentence from? I think 謂之 is more common. Then, 之 means the conduct of exporting gold without permission. – user-487 Mar 7 '17 at 7:07
  • It is one of my speculations. Stated in (4.), that '為' in '為之' is a wrong character for '謂. As in '謂之'. In Cantonese, we use the structure 'XX就為之YY' a lot. If it is 謂之, then the meaning of 之 is clear to me. It would be an objective pronoun 'it' for 'the conduct of' – Tang Ho Mar 7 '17 at 7:53
3

Odd example, knowing where it came from would help. It is definitely not classical Chinese. (就 is never an adverb in classical Chinese and who would write classical Chinese in this context?) It is also definitely not Mandarin. As the OP observes, it is frequent in Cantonese. Alas, my Cantonese is almost non-existent. But, looking up the phrase in the Cantonese Wikipedia, there are numerous examples which seem very similar:

相撲係日本傳統運動,由兩位肥獅大隻嘅人紮馬對打,推跌對方就為之贏

最後邊隊入得多啲就為之贏

手牌入面明暗牌同其他人捨牌(含加槓)或者本身嘅摸牌組成「五搭一對」就為之胡牌

進攻一方如果有三名球員出局嘅話,咁就為之完成一局(inning)

etc... So for sure it's not a careless mistake.

It seems to mean the same thing as 叫做 or the more literary form 稱之為. (Or perhaps it is more like 算是...?)

As for the grammatical structure, 為之 must be v-o. 為 is very unlikely to mean 'be' here, since 之 is never used as a 表語 (predicate of a copular sentence). Functionally, 之 is being used as in 稱之為; it is the object of a verb.

Summary: looks like a Cantonese way of defining technical terminology.

| improve this answer | |
  • It seems to mean the same thing as 叫做 or the more literary form 稱之為. (Or perhaps it is more like 算是...?) -- All the examples so far indicated 為之 means ' be defined'. – Tang Ho Mar 9 '17 at 11:45
1

I think you are looking at as Classical Chinese/wenyan structure in which 為之 means roughly "make it" i.e. treat or regard it as. 之 is a third-person pronoun, which is one of its main roles in wenyan. 為 is not a copula here, but a verb meaning "do/make". The whole sentence would then mean something like: "(As for) not having permission and exporting gold, one makes it a crime." In more smooth English: "Exporting gold without permission is considered a crime."

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1

nickzi wrote:

I think you are looking at as Classical Chinese/wenyan structure in which 為之 means roughly "make it" i.e. treat or regard it as. 之 is a third-person pronoun, which is one of its main roles in wenyan. 為 is not a copula here, but a verb meaning "do/make". The whole sentence would then mean something like: "(As for) not having permission and exporting gold, one makes it a crime." In more smooth English: "Exporting gold without permission is considered a crime."

nickzi may has the right idea here (up vote!). However, I think '為之' is actually shortened from '是為之' (is considered/ defined as)

是(is)+為(considered as/defined as)+之(objective pronoun)

"未經許可而出口, 是為之走私"

"Export without permission, is considered as/ is defined as smuggling"

"永不放棄原則, 是為之有風骨"

"Never give up one's principle, is considered as/ is defined as moral and dignified"

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0

It should be the 4th meaning.

I suspect it is a either a bad listening error and people simply write it down without consulting.

In Cantonese , 为 speak exactly like 谓. Always in mandarin, people who are poor command in word simple write down anything they assume correct. This is common mandarin 错别字 issue.

未經許可而出口黃金就【谓】之犯罪

Besides vocabulary deficiency that cause the listening and writing mistake, sometime putting unwanted 【之】itself may cause further confusion. Some Hong-Kee simply put it inside a sentences to make it sound "ancient like elegant ".

For example.

未經許可而出口黃金【是为之】犯罪 <- mistake

未經許可而出口黃金【视为】犯罪  <- Correction : 视 sound like 是

未經許可而出口黃金【视谓】犯罪  <- Correction

In mandarin, it is clearer to say

未經許可而出口黃金被视为犯罪

All the following 【为】【为之】show different meaning.

幼而不孙弟,长而无述焉,老而不死,【是为】贼。《论语》

不法常可,论世之事,【因为之备】《韩非子·五蠹》

司寇行刑,君【为之】不举乐《韩非子·五蠹》

夫耕之用力也劳,而民【为之】者,曰:可得以富也。《韩非子·五蠹》

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  • If 为 is 错别字 of 谓 in 谓之, then it is a case of 久错成对 or 'acceptance by popularity' . Because 为 in 为之 has the meaning of 'be defined' which is comparable to the meaning of 谓(be called) in 谓之. Thus make 为之 a legit phrase on its own-- 为之(be defined as); 谓之 (be called as) – Tang Ho Mar 8 '17 at 21:22
  • @TangHo As in other case without a separator, it is difficult to tell 【为之】 carry which meaning until you read the whole sentence. I just update my answer to point out this issues. – mootmoot Mar 9 '17 at 8:30
  • look at '不问自取, 是为贼也' , '是为' clearly means ' is defined as' – Tang Ho Mar 9 '17 at 8:39
  • @TangHo : that is a borrowed and replaced terms from 《论语》。 – mootmoot Mar 9 '17 at 9:07

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