- 中国語学 (ISSN:05780969)
- vol.1996, no.243, pp.134-143, 1996-10-25 (Released:2010-03-19)
The adjectives of the Chinese language have usually been classified as verbs by Western grammatical studies. The term“stative verb, ”used originally in nineteenth century grammars of Hebrew and regularly employed in descriptions of Chinese, has a different use from“statal verb”or“status verb”as it has come to be employed in English grammar. It is defined for Chinese as a verb that describes a state of being, corresponding generally to the English be plus an adjective or adjectival.This terminology expresses clearly the verbal function of the predicate adjective and is certainly an effective pedagogical device. However, there remain several significant issues that require further discussion; (1) the Chinese copula shi differs from the English be in both its properties and functions, (2) the predicate adjective of the form Adj. +de and a form such as hen+Adj. must be kept distinct both syntactically and semantically, and (3) the attributive adjective, unlike the verb, is able to modify a noun both with or without the use of de. This paper attempts to clarify these various issues and to offer a useful framework for the description of the adjectival category of Chinese grammar.