Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by nemo eve walle, Mar 19, 2013.
Yes, it is correct.
饭吃了, 酒喝了, 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]
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” ?
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.
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, 酒也喝了, 时间不早也该走了 (Good).
2) 饭也被吃了, 酒也被喝了, 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)喝了酒
花瓶(有人)打破了==> the underlying structure is (有人)打破了花瓶.
饭(我)也吃了, 酒(我)也喝了, 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)也被喝了, 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.
^I think I'll need an interpreter for all this, Skatinginbc! (Assuming that you're not kidding us )
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).
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”。
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.
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
钱偷了==> 偷的钱 (stolen money) , 我偷的钱; 钱被偷了 ==> 被偷的钱
肉烤了==> 烤的肉 (roasted meat), 我烤的肉; 肉被烤了 ==> 被烤的肉
2. Intransitive Verbs:
狗死了 ==> 死的狗 , 我死的狗 (?); 狗被死了 (X) ==> 被死的狗 (X)
3. Verbs that are both transitive and intransitive:
花开了==> 开的花 (blossoming flower), 我开的花 (?); 花被开了 (?) ==> 被开的花 (?)
鸟叫了==> 叫的鸟 (chirping bird), 我叫的鸟 (?); 鸟被叫了 (?) ==> 被叫的鸟 (?)
美人笑了==> 笑的美人(smiling beauty), 我笑的美人(?); 美人被笑了 ==> 被笑的美人
花瓶打破了 ==> 打破的花瓶 (broken flower vase), 我打破的花瓶; 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 笑的美人(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, 肉烤了(e.g., 你肉烤了这么久, 到底好了没有)? Are they all grammatically wrong?
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.
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, 你劝 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), 他的头摔破了(他的花瓶打破了).
It just hit me that most, if not all, transitive verbs can fit in the “花瓶打破了" structure (e.g., 他的脸擰破了, 他的手咬破了, 这张纸撕破了, 他的心穿破了, 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, 被人)撕破了, 这张纸(啊, 我)撕破了, 花瓶(啊, 被人)打破了, 花瓶(啊, 我)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., 他的手咬破了).
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?
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 钱被偷了. ("钱偷了"是什么东东？)
你肉烤了这么久 - This is grammatically wrong.
"烤了这么久的肉" vs "肉烤了这么久"
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.
"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)
They are all grammatically wrong, period?
They are all grammatically correct?
孩子打了。 (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.
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.
For me 钱偷了。 孩子打了
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 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.
Separate names with a comma.