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My assumption is: 社交媒体是讨论的平台.

I saw this:

最近中国社交媒体中愈演愈烈的一件事情是,

I immediately wondered, "Why not write like this?"

最近中国社交媒体中一件愈演愈烈的事情是,

My answer: The topic does not change. The discussion, of the topic changes. However, 'discussion' is not mentioned in this phrase.

Is my answer correct?

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  • There is no change in the meaning. Feb 15 at 10:01
  • "Is my answer correct?" What was the question? What was your assumption based/made on? What was the link between your assumption and the sentence you saw? Sorry, I am lost completely.
    – r13
    Feb 15 at 22:56
  • I don't thnk the topic can 愈演愈烈. I think the discussion of the topic changed its tone 愈演愈烈. But 讨论 is not mentioned directly.
    – Pedroski
    Feb 16 at 7:21

2 Answers 2

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Why is 愈演愈烈 before 一件事情 here?

Because 愈演愈烈的 is a qualifier of 事情.

I immediately wondered, "Why not write like this?" 最近中国社交媒体中一件愈演愈烈的事情是 My answer: The topic does not change. The discussion of the topic changes.

Your answer is broadly correct, in that the scope of "愈演愈烈的" is arguably broader than the topic/thing/noun it specifically refers to, and that's because promixity does tend to govern the scope of a qualifier in Chinese.

As you are well aware, a qualifier, especially one marked by 的, can attach either immediately to the left of the noun it refers to, as in

一件 + 愈演愈烈的 + 事情

or further ahead, before any and all other determiners (i.e. deictic and/numeral + measure word), as in

愈演愈烈的 + 一件 + 事情

In this case, which is also the case in your question, the qualifier is unambiguously left outside of the noun phrase: it's less proximal and hence less attached. This means that the property described by the qualifier is incidental, and possibly not exclusive, to the noun it refers to.

For example, consider the difference between

剩下的一个饼干 = one of the biscuits (that were) left over

and

一个剩下(的)饼干 = a "left-over biscuit"

You'll notice that in the first case, when the qualifier is left outside of the noun phrase, the noun is taken as an instance of a larger set of things that could be described by the qualifier. On the other hand, when the qualifier is closer to its noun (or indeed enclosed within its determiner phrase), it becomes a defining feature of the noun itself, if not an exclusive property thereof.

Certain qualifiers can form a natural unit with the noun, so they lend themselves very well to this alternative use, like 大学的一个老师 vs 一个大学(的)老师 (because "大学(的)老师" is a specific noun phrase of its own: it's an identifiable thing out there). Others don't, like 他的一个缺点 vs *一个他的缺点 (because "他的缺点", as a determinable/referential unit, isn't a thing).

The topic in your question could well be considered, as you noted yourself, less a “愈演愈烈的事情" taken as a whole, than one specific "事情" among all the other 愈演愈烈-able discussions going on in social media platforms. However, I do agree with other respondents that the difference in this context is minimal.

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  • Thank you! "大学的一个老师 vs 一个大学(的)老师 (because "大学(的)老师" is a specific noun phrase of its own: it's an identifiable thing out there)." 谢谢, 你真的聪明哦! 就有很多的事情,这件事情只是其中之一! 明白了!
    – Pedroski
    Feb 16 at 17:15
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I don't see any changes in the "discussion."

Consider the sentence: "She quickly ran to the store." This sentence can also be written as "She ran to the store quickly." In both instances, the adverb "quickly" modifies the verb "ran," and the overall meaning of the sentence remains largely unchanged.

Although 一件 is not an adverb, the underlying logic is the same.

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  • Do you see changes in the topic? The topic in this case was 杜嘉班纳的创始人攻击中国为屎一样的国家! This was about 2 or 3 years ago, maybe longer.
    – Pedroski
    Feb 15 at 18:51
  • No changes in the topic either. Maybe the "flow" of the sentence changes, but it's negligible. Feb 16 at 1:47

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