Questions tagged [linguistics]

For questions related to Chinese linguistics (the study of language), or terms and terminology used in linguistics.

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38 views

Is verbal position used to indicate definiteness in modern Mandarin?

I've taken up reading "Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammar" that was printed back in 1981. The book has been a good read so far but I've noticed several instances where the ...
2
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1answer
47 views

Can the 的 particle ever function without “nominalizing”?

From my answer in What is the meaning of 的 in “有一天你会明白的”? and according to Charles N. Li, Sandra A. Thompson - Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammar, I believed the function of the particle ...
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2answers
78 views

What is the role of 美國 in “中國向美國報復”?

A discussion arose from this post In ` 向谁说`, does `向` play the same role / have the same meaning as `对`? What is the role of the noun after 向 in "向 + noun + verb"? Is it the object? Someone ...
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2answers
273 views

Why does Mandarin Chinese have a smaller inventory of unique syllables?

From How languages compare with the number of different syllables from all words?, considering the 20,000 most frequent words in each language, Mandarin Chinese has 1274 different syllables (see also ...
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5answers
618 views

What's the difference between classifiers and measure words?

The terms classifier and measure word are often used interchangeably, with the latter being (reportedly) more common in language courses. They both translate to 量词 (literally "measure word") ...
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4answers
577 views

What's the meaning of 虚化 in Chinese linguistics?

I was reading a research paper in linguistics and came across this definition 虚化结果补语。 I'm not sure what the proper English translation would be. There are a couple introductory sentences that ...
8
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2answers
1k views

What is an “exoactive” Chinese character?

I have noticed that Chinese characters are labelled as “exoactive”, “endoactive”, “exopassive” and “endopassive” on Wiktionary. For example, it says that 娶 (marry) is the exoactive version of 取. I am ...
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1answer
95 views

Does Chinese have an equivalent to Arabic-style praising grammar (translates to 褒贬句)?

Since my native language is Arabic, our 语法 is somehow very strict, but I find the Chinese 语法 somehow flexible. In Arabic we have a certain 语法 structure that is called 褒贬法, translating it into Chinese....
4
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1answer
86 views

Chinese equivalent of eggcorns?

An eggcorn is: In linguistics, an eggcorn is an idiosyncratic substitution of a word or phrase for a word or words that sound similar or identical in the speaker's dialect (sometimes called oronyms)...
4
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1answer
204 views

what's the term for “tone contour”?

I would like a translation in putonghua for “tone contour” as in “the tone contour of 普通话 is 314” I found two terms: 声调轮廓 from CC-CEDICT 音调曲线 from ABC dictionary Are either (or both?) of these ...
2
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1answer
112 views

Where was the heartland of the pre-historic Chinese branch of languages (or that of the entire language family)?

About the Indo-European family of languages, a common hypothesis is that it originated in central Asia, somewhere north of the Caspian and/or Black Seas. Do we have any idea where the Sino-Tibetan ...
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1answer
128 views

What is the term for alluding to a more formless concept by listing its specific members?

(I only understand Vietnamese, but I guess this phenomenon is an influence of ancient Chinese.) For example, we say "table-chair" to mean furniture, "month-year" to mean time, "land-water" to mean ...