I thought this would be an interesting puzzle for some users here. This is an exam question for university graduate students in linguistics (source):


  1. 现代汉民族共同语是以_____为基础方言。
  2. 从发音部位分,普通话的声母m属_____。
  3. 词是最小的_____的语言单位。
  4. 从结构关系看,“风浪、寒冷、开关”这类词是_____式。
  5. “腐败”的反义词是_____。
  6. “关系很密切”中的“密切”是形容词,而在“密切关系”中是_____。
  7. 短语“木头房子”的结构关系是_____。
  8. 句子“这件事我来办。”的主语是_____。
  9. 由“既然……就……”链接的复句是_____关系。
  10. 言外之意是指_____。

I don't know most of the answers myself. My partial answers:

I'm guessing 3 is 带有意义. Actually, 腐败 has two antonyms, one is 新鲜 and the other is 清廉 or 廉洁 (I had to look up this second one; I encountered it a long time ago when I first met 腐败). I'd be rather surprised if 6 is not also 形容词, but the question seems to suggest it. I'm fairly confident the subject of 7 is 我 (not 这件事). I think 9 is 因果关系. And I'm not sure how to fill in the blank in 10, but it's something like 非字面的意思, non-textual meaning.

Question: What are the answers to this linguistics graduate-student entrance exam question?

  • The subject for 这件事我来办 is indeed 这件事,not 我. According to Chinese grammar, 这件事我来办 is a 主谓谓语句 in which 主谓短语 is used as 谓语. In this case, 我来办 is the predicate(谓语).
    – dan
    May 17, 2022 at 9:51
  • I'd suspect that the answer for "词是最小的_____的语言单位。" is "有意義" but that is not strictly correct because morphemes carry semantics, too. OTOH my guess may be wrong so now for the spoiler... May 17, 2022 at 11:22
  • 5. 清廉 ˙8. "我"来办这件事 10. 隱喻
    – r13
    May 17, 2022 at 11:25
  • 6. I suspect they're going for 狀語 Adverb in so far as 關係 can be understood as a verb May 17, 2022 at 11:28
  • 3
    Write an answer, guys! Make it a community wiki answer if you’re unsure.
    – dROOOze
    May 17, 2022 at 11:49

2 Answers 2


Community Wiki answer (please edit):

  1. 现代汉民族共同语是以北方话为基础方言。
  2. 从发音部位分,普通话的声母m属双唇鼻音
  3. 词是最小的有意义的独立运用的的语言单位。 (It's not 有意义 by itself; that's 语素 = "morpheme".)
  4. 从结构关系看,“风浪、寒冷、开关”这类词是并列式。
  5. “腐败”的反义词是清廉。 (Also possible is 新鲜 and 清明, according to my dictionary.)
  6. “关系很密切”中的“密切”是形容词,而在“密切关系”中是动词。 (The sentence implies the answer is not 形容词.)

主语、谓语、宾语、状语、补语 etc. are syntactical functions/positions. 名词、形容词、动词、副词 etc. are parts of speech.

密切关系 can be a NP, where 密切 is adj. and 关系 is a noun. ex.我们的密切关系

密切关系 can be a VP, where 密切 is vt. and 关系 is a noun. ex. 我们要密切关系,紧密联系。

Since it's implicitly asking for something other than adj., 动词 is more appropriate.

  1. 短语“木头房子”的结构关系是定中关系。(定语+中心语)
  2. 句子“这件事我来办。”的主语是“这件事”。 (See: Baidu Baike 主谓谓语句; the question is likely referring to 全句的主语, which is 这件事.)
  3. 由“既然……就……”链接的复句是因果关系。
  4. 言外之意是指没有在话里明说,而是通过暗示手法表达出来的真正意思

“腐败”的反义词是清廉。 (But 新鲜 is wrong as 新鲜 means fresh)

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