So I know you can topicalize proper names, you could say something like 小明,我喜欢他。or something like 书,我买了。

I want to ask if you can do the same for quantifiers - 很少人,很多人,每个人,没有人 for example.


I want to ask if you can do the same for quantifiers - 很少人,很多人,每个人,没有人 for example.

I'd say yes. A topic doesn't need to be a proper noun, it can be a statement of any kind.

"很少人",就是我的答案 (我的答案是"很少人")

"每个人",就是這法案針對的目標 (這法案針對的目標是"每个人")

"没有一个",就是能戦勝電腦的棋手人數 (能戦勝電腦的棋手人數是"没有一个")

"Few people" is my answer

"Everyone" is the target of this bill

"No one" is the number of players who can defeat the computer


Yes. A simplistic definition of topic-comment is that the topic is the focus of the sentence, and the comment is what is being said about it.

A quantifier alone is probably hard to topicalize, but a quantified noun phrase like those you listed can be the focus of a sentence.

  • 很少人 能够在上海轻松地买房子 — few people can easily buy property in Shanghai
  • 很多人 听得懂德语 — many people understand German
  • 每个人 应当遵守法律 — every person must abide by the law
  • 没有人 想要去那家饭店吃饭 — nobody wants to go to that restaurant
  • they seem like subjects to me.
    – Tang Ho
    Jan 3 at 22:49
  • many people understand German is not a lie. Germany alone has 83 millions people
    – Tang Ho
    Jan 3 at 22:52
  • @TangHo examples of topic-comment are frequently given with the grammatical object as the topic precisely to show that the topic doesn’t have to be the subject. It doesn’t have to be the object either. Topic-comment doesn’t depend on grammatical role. The remark about German was a joke
    – blackgreen
    Jan 4 at 4:39
  • 1
    My remark about German understanding German was also for humor effect. -- 吐槽
    – Tang Ho
    Jan 4 at 4:52

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