Adverbs and Adverbials

Randy J. LaPolla ctrandy at CITYU.EDU.HK
Mon Dec 14 03:23:52 UTC 1998

Just a comment on Bingfu Lu's msg on adverbials in Chinese and a note on
the situation in some other Sino-Tibetan languages:

>Chinese shares the similar phenomenon.
>The Chinese version of the above sentence is
>John gongzuo-le liang xiaoshi
>        worked       two   hour
>Many Chinese grammarians argue that 'two hours' above should
>be regarded as an object.

If post-verbal position is taken as the definition of "object"
(paralleling the definition of "subject" as whatever comes first in the
sentence used by a number of Chinese grammarians), then this opens the
door to a lot of very un-object-like things to be considered objects. It
would be better to be a bit more circumspect in the use of a term such
as "object".

In Rawang and a number of other Tibeto-Burman languages, a temporal
adverbial (and/or in some languages manner adverbials) often appears not
with a marker that is isomorphic with the accusative marker, but with
the ablative/instrumental/agentive marker.

Randy LaPolla

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