Mandarin Relative Clauses?
|From:||Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, November 16, 2000, 4:03|
I'm currently trying to understand Mandarin Chinese grammar. I'd like
to know whether you think that the analysis of attributive adjectives
as relative clauses is justified?
What I want to say is that `hong putaojiu' (red wine) or `hao de
pengyou' (good friend(s)) is a construction like `he cha de ren' (tea
drinking persion, person who drinks tea). I think this is an elegant
analysis, since adjectives are actually verbs in Mandarin and with
other verbs (like `to drink'+ obj), a pre-posed clause adjoined with
`de' is analysed as a relative clause.
Examples (I'll leave out a typical `very' (`hen') to make the
a) Na ge ren he cha.
that person drink tea
`that person drinks tea'.
Na ge he cha de ren shi pengyou.
that drink tea DE person COP friend
`That person who drinks tea is a friend'
b) Na ge ren mang.
that person (is)busy
`That person is busy'
Na ge mang de ren shi pengyou
that busy DE person COP friend
`That busy person is a friend.'
I'd like to know whether who think the analysis as relative clause of
`he cha de' and `mang de' and others like `hao de' (good DE) in `hao
de pengyou' (good friend(s)) or `hong de' (red) in `hong putaojiu'
(red wine, the DE is eliminated) is justified.
I asked a person with mother tongue Mandarin about this. Obviously,
the categorisation is less obvious as it seems, since `hao' (good)
seems to change its meaning if used attributively, preventing a clear
classification is a relative clause from the syntax only point.