Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by nemo eve walle, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. nemo eve walle

    nemo eve walle Senior Member

  2. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    Yes, it is correct.
    饭吃了, 喝了, 花瓶打破了...They are Topic-Comment structures.
    酒 (Topic) "The wine", 喝了 (Comment) "somebody has drunk it".
    花瓶 (Topic) "The flower vase", 打破了(Comment) "somebody has broken it".
    The agent (doer) of the verb
    饭/喝/[COLOR=#000000][COLOR=#000000][COLOR=#000000][COLOR=#000000][COLOR=#000000][COLOR=#000000][COLOR=#000000][COLOR=#000000]打破 is either implied or unspecified. [/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR]
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  3. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie MOD

    English (UK)
    Is 花瓶 in “花瓶被打破了” not a topic? And what is the difference between “花瓶打破了” and “花瓶被打破了” ?
  4. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    Is 花瓶 in “花瓶被打破了” not a topic? Yes, you may say that, but I would rather call it "grammatical subject". "Topic" pertains to the information structure whereas "subject" is purely a grammatical/syntactic concept in a sentence level. Grammatical subject is often, but not always, the same as the topic. For instance, "It is important to tell them apart." "It" is the grammatical subject but "to tell them apart" is actually the topic.

    What's the difference between “花瓶打破了” and “花瓶被打破了”? It rests in their differences in focus. I pointed out that “花瓶打破了” is a Topic-Comment structure because I wanted to emphasize that its usage heavily depends on how the information is structured.
    A: 他甚至把我心爱的花瓶也打破了.
    B: 唉! 花瓶打破了不要紧, 婚姻打破了就没救了. (Using a piece of just-mentioned information as the topic and then contrasting it with another new topic).

    Compare the following:
    1) 饭也吃了, 喝了, 时间不早也该走了 (Good).
    2) 饭也被吃了, 被喝了, 时间不早也该走了 (Bad).

    饭(我)吃了 ==> the underlying structure is (我)吃了饭.
    酒(我)喝了 ==> the underlying structure is (我)
    花瓶(人)打破了==> the underlying structure is (人)打破了花瓶.
    饭()也吃了, (我)喝了, 时间不早(我)也该走了 ==> All three segments are linked by the implied agent "I" and are therefore internally cohesive.
    饭(subject)也被吃了, 酒(subject)被喝了, 时间不早(我 implied subject)也该走了 ==> All three segments have different subjects and it is difficult to process them due to relative lack of cohesiveness/consistency.

    Chinese passive voice is not neutral. 被 is marked (with emphasis). In 花瓶被打破了, the focus switches from 花瓶 to 被打破. That's why I prefer calling 花瓶 "grammatical subject" in this kind of structure.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  5. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie MOD

    English (UK)
    ^I think I'll need an interpreter for all this, Skatinginbc! (Assuming that you're not kidding us ;))
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 25, 2014
  6. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    Well, let me try again. What's the difference between "(I) broke that flower vase" and "That flower vase was broken (by me)"? The difference is in their "focus". 花瓶打破了==> The focus is on 花瓶 (饭吃了, 菜还没有==> The focus is on 饭 and 菜). 花瓶被打破了 ==> The focus is on 被打破 (你知道小林出了什么事? 他被杀了! 被杀 is the focus).
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  7. BODYholic Senior Member

    Chinese Cantonese
    No, 按语法来说,那是错的。
    因为“打破”是他动词(or 及物动词)。正确的说法该是“花瓶被打破了” or "打破了花瓶"。
    但是,多数人一般都那么说的原因是因为我们把该停顿的地方给省略了。原文应该是:“花瓶 ..... 打破了”。说快了,就成了“花瓶打破了”。

    正如我们常会听到的 (in Singapore, at least) “我睡客厅” / “你睡主人房”。
  8. tarlou Senior Member

    花瓶打破了 is actually better than 花瓶被打碎了 for me. But that can be personal preference.

    Topic-comment is one possible explanation, but I'm inclined to saying that the verb 打 can also mean 破碎, that is, the sentence is not passive.

    This is clearly not passive.

    There exist some verbs that can be both passive and active. Another example is 折(zhe2) vs 折(she2), but the two meanings can be distinguished by sound.

    I think "the vase broke into pieces" and "the vase was broken into pieces" are both correct English. If I'm right, the above phenomenon of verbs is not odd.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  9. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    What you meant is that 打破 serves as an intransitive verb in “花瓶打破了”. Let's compare the behavior of transitive verbs with the one of intransitive verbs:
    1. Transitive Verbs:
    酒喝了 ==> 喝的酒, 我喝的酒; 酒被喝了 ==> 被喝的酒
    钱偷==> (stolen money) , ; 偷了 ==>
    ==> (roasted meat), ; ==>

    2. Intransitive Verbs:
    狗死 ==> 的狗 , (?); 被死了 (X) ==> (X)

    3. Verbs that are both transitive and intransitive:
    ==> (blossoming flower), (?); (?) ==> (?)
    ==> (chirping bird), 鸟 (?); 了 (?) ==> (?)
    美人笑==> 美人(smiling beauty), 美人(?); 美人 ==> 美人

    花瓶打破了 ==> 打破的花瓶 (broken flower vase), 打破的花瓶; 花瓶被打破了 ==> 被打破的花瓶
    Which pattern does 花瓶打破了resembe the most? Note that V+ing in 美人(smiling beauty) vs. V+ed in 打破的花瓶 (broken flower vase)

    Then how do you explain 酒喝了, 钱偷了, (e.g., 这么久, 到底好没有)? Are they all grammatically wrong?
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  10. tarlou Senior Member

    My feeling: 花瓶打破了 is similar to 美人笑了/狗死了 rather than 酒喝了, and 打破花瓶 is similar to 喝酒 rather than 死狗/笑美人. In other words, I introduced a new meaning of 打, which exists in my dialect but I'm not sure about yours. If you think 打 only means "hit", that's fine. But if you want to disprove something from an opposite assumption, the logic is absurd.

    Consider another phrase "鸡飞蛋打". Of course, you can argue that this is again topic-comment 鸡也飞了,蛋也打了. But note that 飞 is intransitive. According to your theory, the first half sentence is similar to 花开了 while the second half is similar to 酒喝了. However, this is different from my feeling, that the two parts are of the same structure and are both similar to 花开了.

    Actually, "object+verb" 花瓶打破了 does exist. But what I meant is there is another "meaning" of this phrase, that is "subject+verb". The verb 打 may literally mean 破碎, not 击打. We say xx打了 when something breaks into pieces, and this phrase has structure similar to xx碎了, not xx被打碎了.

    Maybe it's easier to think about another verb 摔.
    我把他重重地摔到地上了,结果他被我摔死了 -- 他 is the object of 摔
    他从台上摔了下来,结果他摔死了 -- 他 is the subject of 摔
    Note that a single word 摔 has two completely opposite meanings: 1. 摔别人 2. 自己摔. This is the scenario I've proposed for 打.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  11. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    Tarlou, I totally agreed that 打 can be intransitive. Your example in Post #8 (i.e., 花瓶从二楼掉下来,打了个稀巴烂) was convincing enough. What I had doubt was 打破 together as a verb phrase because all I could think of containing 破 were transitive (e.g, 撕破). Luckily I just found one that can be intransitive, that is, 看破 (e.g, 劝 他看破些). So I'm with you: 花瓶打破了 (subject + verb) is similar to 美人笑了/狗死了 rather than 酒喝了. And I'm glad you agree that "object+verb" (or what I called "Topic-Comment") 花瓶打破了 could exist as well.

    And your example 摔 is even better: 他摔破了头 (他打破了花瓶), 他头摔破了(他花瓶打破了).
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  12. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

  13. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    It just hit me that most, if not all, transitive verbs can fit in the “花瓶打破了" structure (e.g., 他脸擰破了, 他手咬破了, 这张纸撕破了, 他心穿破了, 我的房子盖好了, 我的屁股撞疼了), not to mention intransitive verbs (e.g., 我的头想歪了). To me, they have strong "topic-comment" flavor like "其眉也,如墨如黛", "其容也, 毁矣", 这张纸(啊, 被)撕破了, 这张纸(啊, )撕破了, 花瓶(啊, 被)打破了, 花瓶(啊, )打破了. And I admit some of them behave rather like intransitive (e.g., 我的房子盖好了, 花瓶打破了) while others are clearly transitive (e.g., 他手咬破了).
    I'm thinking: Some people must have studied Chinese grammar when they learned Chinese as a second language. What did their teachers or grammar books say about this kind of structure? Any non-native speaker is willing to shed some light on this?
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  14. BODYholic Senior Member

    Chinese Cantonese
    There is nothing to explain. It's grammatically incorrect. Period.
    酒喝了 is inexplicable especially when there is no context.
    钱偷了 - On the few occasions when I lost my money, I said 了. ("钱偷了"是什么东东?)
    这么久 - This is grammatically wrong.

    "烤了这么久的肉" vs "这么"

  15. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    这个在外国人学中文的“语法书里”都会明确提到。就是根据语境,不需要用“被”字也可以是 implied passive form.


  16. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    "蛇吃了,酒喝了,美女见了" (http://www.douban.com/group/topic/29660142/)
    "饭你吃了,酒你喝了,开房上床的正事你不干了,你什么意思?" (http://www.douban.com/group/topic/36406170/)
    "可怜的孩子, 钱偷了没啥,身份证和卡就很麻烦. 万恶的贼,逮着必须揍个半死." (http://tieba.baidu.com/p/1928475986?see_lz=1)
    "我说你就偷了,还能怎么办呢,她说我是看病的钱。她受不了这种打击." (http://www.pudongtv.cn/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=show&catid=22&id=3266)
    "这肉烤了几个月怎么还不熟啊." (http://tieba.baidu.com/p/1746679044)
    "一会儿,肉烤了,秋荒三人把这两只火兔给分了." (http://www.google.ca/#q="肉烤了"&hl=en...76,d.cGE&fp=c72f858bc7479f60&biw=1920&bih=936).
    "我不小心碰到了花瓶,开始还好,只是有些摇晃,可过了短短的几秒钟,这只花瓶摇晃得更厉害了,最后,只听“砰”的一声,花瓶打破了." (http://wjxlwsxh.com/wjxzold/bbs/viewthread.php?tid=4157)
    "换个角度看,花瓶打破了,你还立了大功,不然爸爸要是真拿赝品去给李伯伯,这不是破坏他们之间的感情吗?" (http://www.520xs.com/16558/1599161/)

    They are all grammatically wrong, period?
  17. BODYholic Senior Member

    Chinese Cantonese
    They are all grammatically correct?

    附: 拜托,随便输入几个关键字再谷歌,百度一番。只要能搜索得到,不管三七二十一你就贴。那能代表什么?抱歉,没能明白你的思维逻辑。
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  18. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
  19. BODYholic Senior Member

    Chinese Cantonese
    Prove it.

    But 钱掉了/丢了。:tick:

    孩子打了。:thumbsdown: (Does 孩子打了=妈妈打孩子?)


    I do agree with Youngfun's point. And I'm not insisting that a particle (e.g. 被, 遭, 让) should always be there to make a sentence passive. Then again, there are also many sentences sound really odd without it.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  20. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    I already did. But I would summarize it in brief. Many Chinese sentences are Topic-Comment structures (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topic-prominent_language, http://voices.yahoo.com/the-topic-comment-linguistic-structure-chinese-871493.html, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topic–comment), which cannot be easily analyzed with the concept of English grammar. Read through the links I gave above and you shall understand they are common structures in Chinese.
    The Chinese SOV order is considered by some a subtype of Topic-Comment structure. Here is an article that discusses Object + Verb in Chinese with examples like 我车子洗好了, 我香槟酒喝了 and so on : http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j...sg=AFQjCNH7MHz-OeGf_33NbWkKQf-lA_fOMQ&cad=rja)
    That's not true. I examined them and thought they were good before I quoted them. I was obliged to cite the sources since they were not sentences of my own. And I quoted them from the web so that people can see each example's full context (discourse level) rather than just an isolated sentence.
    The reason they sound odd is that you examine them in an isolated sentential level. I mentioned in Post #4 that "topic" pertains to the information structure. You have to know what the speaker has said before and/or what comes next in order to understand its syntax. It is the discourse level that we are talking about here.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  21. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    For me 钱偷了:thumbsup:。 孩子打了:thumbsdown:

    Especially in my topolect we say a lot the first one.
    We also say 饭吃了没?(actually: 饭吃爻罢未?) instead of 吃饭了吗?
    Even if in Mandarin it sounds odd, it cannot be misunderstood. It's clear the meaning, that the money has been stolen by someone.

    孩子打了:thumbsdown: Did the child beat, or was he beaten?

    Chinese is not purely subject-verb-based, but uses a lot topic-prominent sentences. Wu even more than Mandarin, as my example.
    For me, these kinds of sentences are all examples of topic-prominent sentences.

    Some years ago, I also used to reason with a Western-style grammar in my head.
    Once I took a Chinese language test, with other overseas Chinese students.
    The alternatives were:
    All the other students chose the second sentence, because they sounded more natural to their ears.
    Only I had chosen the first one, because I was thinking with the mindset subject+verb+object.
    Then the teacher said the second one was right.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013

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