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Reference:Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammar

Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammar by Charles N. Li, Sandra A. Thompson

This reference grammar provides, for the first time, a description of the grammar of Mandarin Chinese, the official spoken language of China and Taiwan, in functional terms, focusing on the role and meanings of word-level and sentence-level structures in actual conversations.

Grammar Points by Chapter

  1. Introduction
    • 1.1 The Chinese Language Family
    • 1.2 The Phonology of Mandarin
      • 1.2.1 Initials
      • 1.2.2 Finals
      • 1.2.3 Tones
      • 1.2.4 Phonetic Effects of the Retroflex Suffix
  2. Typological Description
    • 2.1 The Structural Complexity of Words: Mandarin as an Isolating Language
      • 2.1.1 Morphemes Occurring with Nouns
      • 2.1.2 Morphemes Occurring with Verbs
    • 2.2 Monosyllabic Ability: The Number of Syllables in a word
    • 2.3 Topic Prominence
    • 2.4 Word Order
      • 2.4.1 The Word Order Typology
      • 2.4.2 Word Order in Mandarin
  3. Word Structure
    • 3.1 Morphological Processes
      • 3.1.1 Reduplication
      • 3.1.2 Affixation
    • 3.2 Compounds
      • 3.2.1 The Meaning of Compounds
      • 3.2.2 Nominal Compounds
      • 3.2.3 Verbal Compounds
      • 3.2.4 Subject-Predicate Compounds
      • 3.2.5 Verb-Object Compounds
      • 3.2.6 Antonymous Adjectives Forming Nominal Compounds
      • 3.2.7 Minor Types of Compounds
  4. Simple Declarative Sentences
    • 4.1 Topic and Subject
      • 4.1.1 Characterization of Topic
      • 4.1.2 Characterization of Subject
      • 4.1.3 Comparison of Topic and Subject
      • 4.1.4 Double-Subject Sentences
      • 4.1.5 Comparison with Chao's Analysis
      • 4.1.6 Time and Locative Phrases
      • 4.1.7 Further Examples
      • 4.1.8 Topic as a Discourse Element
      • 4.1.9 Topic and Coreference in Discourse
    • 4.2 The Noun Phrase
      • 4.2.1 Classifier Phrases/Measure Phrases
      • 4.2.2 Associative Phrases
      • 4.2.3 Modifying Phrases
      • 4.2.4 The Order of Elements in a Noun Phrase
      • 4.2.5 Definiteness and Referentiality
      • 4.2.6 Pronouns
      • 4.2.7 Reflexives
    • 4.3 The Verb Phrase
      • 4.3.1 Types of Verb Phrase
  5. Auxiliary Verbs
    • 5.1 Auxiliary Verb versus Verb
    • 5.2 Auxiliary Verb versus Adverb
    • 5.3 List of Auxiliary Verbs
  6. Aspect
    • 6.1 The Perfective Aspect
      • 6.1.1 Where to Use -le: A Bounded Event
      • 6.1.2 Where Not to Use -le
      • 6.1.3 -le in Imperatives
      • 6.1.4 -le Does Not Mean Past Tense
      • 6.1.5 -le Does Not Mean Completion
    • 6.2 The Durative Aspect
      • 6.2.1 Semantic Types of Verbs and the Durative Aspect Markers -zhe and zai
      • 6.2.2 Complex Sentences with the Durative Aspect Marker -zhe
    • 6.3 The Experimental Aspect
    • 6.4 The Delimitative Aspect
    • 6.5 Summary
  7. Sentence=Final Particles
    • 7.1 le
      • 7.1.1 The Communicative Function of le
      • 7.1.2 Where Not to Use le
      • 7.1.3 Perfective -le versus CRS le
    • 7.2 ne
    • 7.3 ba
    • 7.4 ou
    • 7.5 a/ya
    • 7.6 Conclusion
  8. Adverbs
    • 8.1 Movable Adverbs
      • 8.1.1 Movable Adverbs of Time
      • 8.1.2 Movable Adverbs of Attitude
    • 8.2 Nonmovable Adverbs
      • 8.2.1 Manner Adverbs
      • 8.2.2 Nonmatter Adverb
    • 8.3 Negation and Movable Adverbs
      • 8.3.1 Negation and Movable Adverbs
      • 8.3.2 Negation and Nonmovable Adverbs
    • 8.4 Adverbs and ba Contstruction
    • 8.5 Quantity Adverbial Phrases
  9. Coverbs/Prepositions
    • 9.1 The Function of Coverbs
      • 9.1.1 Occurrance with Aspect Markers
      • 9.1.2 Coverbs That Can Function as Verbs
    • 9.2 Representative List of Coverbs
  10. Indirect Objects and Benefactives
    • 10.1 gei Obligatory
    • 10.2 gei Optional
    • 10.3 gei Forbidden
    • 10.4 Apparent Indirect Objects
    • 10.5 Explanation for the Indirect Object Facts
    • 10.6 Benefactive Noun Phrases, and Preverbal Indirect Object
    • 10.7 Other Functions of gei
  11. Locative and Directional Phrases
    • 11.1 Locative Phrases
      • 11.1.1 The Structure of Locative Phrases
      • 11.1.2 The Position of the Locative Phrase in the Sentence
    • 11.2 Directional Phrases with dao 'to'
  12. Negation
    • 12.1 The Position and Scope of the Negative Particles
    • 12.2 The Functions of bu and mei(you)
      • 12.2.1 Variation in the Meaning of Sentences with bu
      • 12.2.2 Types of Verb Phrase
      • 12.2.3 Resultative Verb Compounds
    • 12.3 mei(you) Is Not a Past Tense Negative Particle
    • 12.4 Negation and Aspect
    • 12.5 Negating Some Element other than a Simple Verb Phrase
    • 12.6 Summary
  13. Verb Copying
    • 13.1 Where Verb Copying Occurs
    • 13.2 Grammatical Properties of the Verb-Copying Construction
  14. 14 The Imperative
  15. 15 The ba Construction
    • 15.1 The ba Noun Phrase
    • 15.2 Disposal
    • 15.3 ba Sentences without a Subject
    • 15.4 ba...gei
    • 15.5 When to Use the ba Construction
  16. The bei Construction
    • 16.1 Use and Function
      • 16.1.1 Adversity
      • 16.1.2 Disposal
    • 16.2 Structural Properties
      • 16.2.1 Indirect Object Adversely Affected
      • 16.2.2 The bei Noun Phrase Can be Inanimate
    • 16.3 bu and bei
    • 16.4 Variant Forms
  17. Presentative Sentences
    • 17.1 Existential and Positional Verbs
    • 17.2 Verbs of Motion
  18. Questions
    • 18.1 The Four Types of Questions
    • 18.2 Question-Words Questions
      • 18.2.1 Question-Words in Questions
      • 18.2.2 Question-Words as Indefinite Pronouns
    • 18.3 Disjunctive Questions
      • 18.3.1 Questions with Constituents Connected by haishi
      • 18.3.2 A-not-A Questions
    • 18.4 Tag Questions
    • 18.5 Particle Questions
    • 18.6 Differences between A-Not-A Questions and Particle Questions
    • 18.7 Questions Serving as Subjects or direct Objects of a Verb
    • 18.8 Answers to Questions
  19. Comparisons
    • 19.1 Comparative Constructions
      • 19.1.1 Dimension
      • 19.1.2 Subject/Topic and the Standard of Comparison
    • 19.2 Superlatives
  20. Nominalization
    • 20.1 A Nominalization Functioning as a Noun Phrase
    • 20.2 Nominalization Modifying a Head Noun
      • 20.2.1 Relative Clause Construction
      • 20.2.2 A Nominalization Serving as the Complement to an Abstract Head Noun
    • 20.3 The shi...de Construction
  21. Serial Verb Construction
    • 21.1 Two or More Separate Events
    • 21.2 One Verb Phrase/Clause is the Subject or Direct Object of Another
      • 21.2.1 The Second Verb Phrase/Clause is the Direct Object of the First Verb
      • 21.2.2 The First Verb Phrase/Clause Is the Subject of the Second Verb
      • 21.2.3 The Clause That Is a Subject or Direct Object is a Question
    • 21.3 Pivotal Constructions
    • 21.4 Descriptive Clauses
      • 21.4.1 Realis Descriptive Clauses
      • 21.4.2 Irrealis Descriptive Clauses
    • 21.5 Summary
  22. The Complex Stative Construction
    • 22.1 Inferred Meanings
      • 22.1.1 Manner Inferred
      • 22.1.2 Extent Inferred
      • 21.1.3 Either Manner or Extent Inferred
    • 22.2 General Structural Properties
  23. Sentence Linking
    • 23.1 Forward Linking
      • 23.1.1 Forward Linking with a Linking Element
      • 23.1.2 Forward Linking without a Linking Element
      • 23.1.3 The Semantics of Conditionals
    • 23.2 Backward Linking
      • 23.2.1 Adverbial Backward Linking Elements in Clause-Initial Position
      • 23.2.2 Nonmovable Adverbs as Backward-Linking Elements
  24. Pronouns in Discourse
    • 24.1 Zero Pronouns
    • 24.2 Pronouns
    • 24.3 Syntactic Constraints on Zero Pronouns

Grammar Point References to This Book