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In the following sentence:

外交部发言人耿爽14日就两名中国公民在日本不幸遇害答记者问时表示,中国驻日本使馆已要求日方全力破案,缉拿并严惩凶手,还受害者及家属公道。“我们对两名中国公民遇害表示沉痛哀悼,对其家属表示诚挚慰问,对凶犯的残暴行径予以强烈谴责。”耿爽说。

If I understand it correctly, the main clause in the first sentece is from 中国驻日本使馆已要求日方全力破案, and 外交部发言人耿爽14日就两名中国公民在日本不幸遇害答记者问时表示 is a subordinate clause. And the subordinate clause says something like:

When the ministry of foreign spokesman 耿爽 answered to the question by the reporter on 14th,

However, how does 就两名中国公民在日本不幸遇害 function here? Is it the reporter that asks about the murder crime so the sentence should be like:

When he answered to the reporter who asked about the murder crime,

or is it just added by the author of the post, so the sentence should be:

When he answered to the reporter regarding the murder crime,

? If so why is it not expressed to use some regarding... adverbs such as 关于 or ?

  • 外交部发言人 = foreign ministry (ministry of foreign affairs) spokesman (person) 就(in regard to, regarding, concerning)两名中国公民在日本不幸遇害: adverbial adjunct to the verb 表示, also 答记者问时 another adverbial adjunct indicating time, see dictionaries (bkrs,jukuu) on using 就 for "in regard to" etc. (于 alone would be invalid) – user6065 Jul 15 '17 at 15:34
  • 就 as preposition: cf."汉英虚词词典"就(介词) A "就"引出分析、研究、讨论、处理的范围或对象:introduces the object or scope of analysis, study, discussion or treatment:1.我现在~同志们所讨论的问题讲几点意见。(毛泽东<在中国共产党全国宣传工作会议上的讲话>)2。本文着重~经济工作一定要按照客观规律办事这个问题,说一些体会。。。(胡乔木<按照经济规律办事,加快实现四个现代化>)3。他那~事论事的毛病,还是没有消除干净。(龚成<红石口>)4。现在双方已~此条件圆满达成协议。(鄂华<自由神的命运>) B "就"还可表示挨近、靠近、趁着,有时可带"着":1。他正在~着灯看书。2。~着这场雨,赶紧下种吧!**C** "就。。。而论"常用作插入语,表示在某一局限性范围内:1。~规模和设备而论,这个旅馆在我们看到的一些旅馆中算中等。(报)2。~我自己而论,没有感到和没有知道的事情真不知有多少。(鲁迅<[准风月谈]后记>)*D"就。。。来说(说来,看)"常作插入,和"就。。。而论"意思相仿:1。中国的抗日游击战争,~其特殊的广大性和长期性来说,不但在东方是空前的,在整个人类历史上可能是空前的。(毛泽东<战争和战略问题>)2。当时,~我们的力量来说,这就算打大仗了。 – user6065 Jul 15 '17 at 17:01
  • (王愿坚<普通劳动者>) 3。当时~全局看,革命处在不利的形势下,整个党的组织需要的是正确的退却,而不是继续进攻。(陶承<我的一家>) – user6065 Jul 15 '17 at 17:02
  • it seems that 就 could not simply be replaced by 关于 (leaving the rest unchanged), although the sentence could be rephrased using 关于, e.g. 关于两。。。害耿爽表示。。。,or 耿爽关于两。。。害的事情表示 – user6065 Jul 15 '17 at 18:00
  • regarding OP proposed 关于:cf."汉语800虚词用法词典"关于(介) 1。 引进某种行为的关系者,组成介词结构做状语。used as a relation or function word, meaning "about","on","with respect to", or "concerning", to form a prepositional construction with a verb indicating an action as an adverbial modifier (1)关于有无外星人的问题,连科学家也不一定说得清楚。(2)关于如何申请奖学金的问题,你看看这个说明就明白了。(3)关于中秋节,中国民间有个非常美丽的传说。(4)关于中国的嫦娥工程,我知道得很少。(5)关于这个问题,网上有很多议论。(6)关于我们两国关系的未来走向,我想听听您的见解。(7)关于教育改革的问题,中国政府最近专门开会进行了研究和部署。(8)关于西部大开发,今后政府可能会进一步加大投入。(9)关于南水北调工程,你通过这次考察,有什么看法?(10)关于中国经济社会的发展战略,研讨会上的各位专家进行了严肃认真的讨论。 2。 引进某种事物的关系者,组成介词结构做定语(后面要加"的"),或在"是。。。的"句式中做谓语。 – user6065 Jul 16 '17 at 0:54
1

[5] [prep] with (in) regard to; concerning; as far as

subordinate clause:

[外交部发言人耿爽 | 14日 | 就两名中国公民在日本不幸遇害 | 答记者问时表示]

[Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman 耿爽, | on the 14th, | in regard to two Chinese citizens unfortunately being murdered in Japan, | stated when answering the reporters questions ]

"On the 14th, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman 耿爽, in regard to two Chinese citizens unfortunately being murdered in Japan, stated when answering the reporters' questions."

  • Thanks but the final 表示 means "say", so the entire sentence should mean "When on the 14th, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman 耿爽, in regard to two Chinese citizens unfortunately being murdered in Japan, answered a question the reporter asked, he said..." right? – Blaszard Jul 16 '17 at 3:03
  • 表示 means "stated" – Tang Ho Jul 16 '17 at 3:05
  • So anyway the sentence should be "When the spokesman, ..., stated, "right? Your answer sounds an invalid subordinate clause if it were translated into English. – Blaszard Jul 16 '17 at 3:11
  • Ah, I just confirmed the edit. I got it, thanks. – Blaszard Jul 16 '17 at 3:11
2

外交部发言人耿爽14日就两名中国公民在日本不幸遇害答记者问时……

It is not easy to understand a long sentence. But, we can simplify it.

外交部发言人耿爽 (title + name) can be simplified as 他, he.

The date, 14日, is not important here, so we omit it for simplification.

两名中国公民在日本不幸遇害 is an event, so we use "the event", 该事件.

We use "the/his/her/their question", 其问, to represent 记者问.

The sentence then becomes

他就该事件答其问时……

(Don't you think it is much easier to interpret it now? I suggest you using this method next time, when you read a looooong sentence.)

When he answered the question regarding the event, ......

As you mentioned, 就 means regarding, in regard to, with regard to, etc.

Can't we use to or for?
When he answered the question to the event, ......
When he answered the question for the event, ......


If we want to use another Chinese characters to replace 就, the most common one would be 对.

Consider the following two phrases/sentences.

就事论事。
对事不对人。

Here, 就 = 对.

Because we are used to them, it is not good to swith them. But, the meaning is the same, and we can accept it.

对事论事。
就事不就人。

该事件答其问时……
外交部发言人耿爽14日 两名中国公民在日本不幸遇害答记者问时……

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