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From:Brian Betty <bbetty@...>
Date:Friday, February 19, 1999, 14:23
On 2-19-99, Kou wrote: "When I first moved to Taiwan with a severe case of
Japanese on the brain, I continued to do this for a while, but it doesn't
really work. Sounds more like you're trying to mash Chinese into English
syntax. *Ta bu zai, xianzai.  He's not here now. for Ta xianzai bu zai."

Agreed! It's actually how native English-speaking learners of Mandarin
often construct sentences ...

"As for: [I wrote:] 'Neige Zhongguoren, ta buneng shuo Yingwen (That
Chinese person, s/he can't speak English),' It depends on intonation and
context, of course, but when I here this type of sentence, I usually expect
an explicit or implicit "so..." on the way, either in the form of an

I agree that in standard Mandarin this may be so; in colloquial speech in
Beijing I heard this a lot when the intent of the sentence was unmarked -
ie., Lao Beijingrs used it more commonly than I saw it in books. Or maybe
my texts were more explicit for Lao Wais (foreigners) about not using
sentences that might be confusing to nonnative speakers.


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