Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2665-9336
  • E-ISSN: 2665-9344
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This paper examines the absolutive case in Modern Mandarin Chinese sentences with reversible argument structures. In these sentences, the two arguments adjacent to the verb can be interchangeable in syntactic position. Although previous research has provided partial descriptions and analyses of this grammatical phenomenon, there is still no comprehensive and systematic exploration of these reversible sentences. Employing a reductionist methodology, the study meticulously examines the interaction modes between the verb and its arguments in eight types of reversible sentence structures involving the addition or omission of argument roles. This analysis reveals a distinct pattern that highlights the centrality of an ‘absolute argument’ within these sentences. Building on these observations, the paper articulates the fundamental structural patterns of reversible sentences and concludes a unified explanatory framework. This research enriches our understanding of Mandarin Chinese syntax and offers valuable perspectives on the linguistic dynamics underlying reversible sentence construction.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Cai, W.
    (2020) Cartographic approach, head movement and flip-flop sentences. Foreign Language Teaching and Research (bimonthly) Mar.Vol.52No.2
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Chen, P.
    (1994) On the Coordination Principle of Three Sentence Elements and Semantic Components in Chinese. Studies of The Chinese Language, (3). 陈平 ,(1994),试论汉语中三种句子成分与语义成分的配位原则,《中国语文》31: 161–168
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Comrie, Bernard
    (1978) Ergativity. InLehmann, Winfred P. (ed.), Syntactic Typology: Studies in the Phenomenology of Language, 329–394. Austin: University of Texas Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Ding, S. S.
    (1961) Lectures on Modern Chinese Grammar. Commercial Press. 丁声树等 ,(1961),《现代汉语语法讲话》,商务印书馆
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Dixon, Robert M. W.
    (1994) Ergativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511611896
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511611896 [Google Scholar]
  6. Dong, C. R.
    (2011) A coercion account of the unaccusativity of verbs in Chinese ExistentialsModern Foreign Languages, (1). 董成如 ,(2011),汉语存现句中动词非宾格性的压制解释,《现代外语》11: 19–26
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Dong, C. R. , & Yang, C. Y.
    (2009) On the Constructional Coercion of Lexical Items. Foreign Language Research (5). 董成如、杨才元 ,(2009),构式对词项压制的探索,《外语学刊》51: 42–46
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Fang, G. T.
    (1986) “System and Method.” InFang Guangtao Linguistics Papers. Jiangsu Education Publishing House. 方光焘 ,(1986),体系与方法,《方光焘语言学论文集》,江苏教育出版社
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Goldberg, A.
    (2006) A Constructions at Work: The Nature of Generalization in Language. Oxford.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Gu, Y.
    (1997) The Existential Sentences in Chinese. Modern Foreign Languages, (3). 顾阳 ,(1997),关于存现结构的理论探讨,《现代外语》31: 17+16+18-27
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Han, L. , & Wen, B. L.
    (2016) The Syntax of the Flip-flop Construction in Mandarin Chinese. Journal of Foreign Languages, (5). 韩流、温宾利 ,(2016),汉语翻转结构的句法生成,《外国语》51:46–57
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Hu, J. H.
    (2018) What is New Descriptivism. Contemporary Linguistics, (4). 胡建华 ,(2018),什么是新描写主义,《当代语言学》41:475–477
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Jin, L. X.
    (2016) Typological Evidence of Mixed Word Orders in Mandarin and Its Motivation. Chinese Language Learning, (3). 金立鑫 ,(2016),普通话混合语序的类型学证据及其动因,《汉语学习》31:3–11
    [Google Scholar]
  14. (2019) “The Explanatory Power of Generalized Morphology Theory.” Journal of East China Normal University Humanities and Social Sciences (2). 金立鑫 ,(2019),广义语法形态理论的解释力,《华东师大学报》(哲社版)21:32–43
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Jin, L. X.
    2020 A Logical Analysis of the Configuration of Ergative-Absolutive Arguments. Journal of Beijing International Studies UniversityNo.6金立鑫,(2020),施通格论元组配类型的逻辑分析《北京第二外国语学院学报》(6)
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Jin, L. X. and Wang, H. W.
    (2014) Ergative case, absolutive case and the classification of verb. Foreign Language Teaching and ResearchVol.46No.1金立鑫、王红卫(2014)动词分类和施格、通格及施语、通语《外语教学与研究》(1)
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Li, M.
    (1998) An Investigation of Subject-Object Reversibility in Modern Chinese. Language Teaching and Linguistic Studies (4) 李敏 (1998) 现代汉语主宾可互易句的考察《语言教学与研究》(4:50–58
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Li, Q.
    (2016) A Comparative Study of Affordance Construction and Middle Construction in Chinese. Journal of Yunnan Normal University(Teaching & Studying Chinese as a Foreign Language (6). 李强 ,(2016),汉语供用句和中动句的比较分析,《云南师范大学学报-对外汉语教学与研究版》61:52–46
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Liu, C. D.
    (2018) Understanding Chinese Reversible Sentences from the Perspective of Ergative Analysis. Foreign Language Education (1). 刘辰诞 ,(2018),汉语可逆句的作格分析视角,《外语教学》11:8–13
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Lu, J. M.
    (2011) More on the Construction-Chunk Approach. Studies in Language and Linguistics, (2). 陆俭明 ,(2011),再论构式语块分析法,《语言研究》21:1–7
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Lu, R.
    (2012) The Cognitive and Semantic Performance of the Reversible Sentences Concerning Providing. Chinese Language Learning (2). 鹿 荣 ,(2012),供用类可逆句式的认知语义表现,《汉语学习》21:45–53
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Lu, R. , & Qi, H. Y.
    (2010) The Semantic Features and Reversible Motivations of the Supply Sentence. Chinese Teaching in the World (4). 鹿荣、齐沪扬 ,(2010),供用句的语义特点及可逆动因,《世界汉语教学》41:459–467
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Montague, G. P.
    (2013) Who Am I? Who Is She?: A Naturalistic, Holistic, Somatic Approach to Personal Identity. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Quine, W. V. O.
    (1951) Two Dogmas of Empiricism. The Philosophical Review, 601. 10.2307/2181906
    https://doi.org/10.2307/2181906 [Google Scholar]
  25. Ren, Y.
    (1999) Semantic Conditions Analysis of Subject-Object Alternation in Affordance Sentences. Chinese Language Learning. (3). 任鹰 ,(1999),主宾可换位供用句的语义条件分析,《汉语学习》31:1–6
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Russell, B.
    (1918) Mysticism and logic, and other essays. New York: Longmans, Green and Co.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Wu, C. X. , & Du, D.
    (2020) “Typological Characteristics between Existential and Locative Constructions with Word Order. Chinese Language Learning. (2). 吴春相、杜丹 ,(2020),存现句式、处所句式与语序的类型特征,《汉语学习》21:3–16
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Yang, D. R. , Liu, B. , & Chang, X.
    (2021) On the Derivation of the Supply-type Reversible Sentence under Generative Constructionism. Journal of PLA University of Foreign Languages (3). 杨大然、刘冰、常潇 ,(2021),生成建构主义框架下供动型可逆句的派生机制研究,《解放军外国语学院学报》31:1–10
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Yang, S. Y. , Huang, Y. Y. , Gao, L. Q. , & Cui, X. L.
    (2007) The L2 Acquisition of the Chinese Existential Constructions. Chinese Language Learning (1). Yang 杨素英、黄月圆、高立群、崔希亮 ,(2007),汉语作为第二语言存现句习得研究,《汉语学习》11:59–70
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Yu, X. J. , & Jin, L. X.
    (2020) A Typological Approach to Mixed Case-alignment Patterns in Chinese. Journal of Foreign Languages. 于秀金、金立鑫 ,(2020),类型学视角下汉语的混合格配置模式,《外国语》5-30-45
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Zhang, B.
    (2010) Modern Chinese Descriptive Gramma. et al. Commercial Press. (pp.612–618). 张斌 ,(2010),《现代汉语描写语法》,商务印书馆(北京),P.612–618
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Zhao, C. , & Cai, W.
    (2023) “A Labeling Approach to Chinese Flip⁃Flop Sentences”. Modern Foreign Languages Vol. 46 No.2 赵琛、蔡维天 ,贴标理论视角下的汉语乾坤挪移句考察。《现代外语》(2)
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Zhou, R.
    (2017) A Qualia Structure Analysis of Mandarin Supply Sentences. Chinese Teaching in the World (2). 周韧 ,(2017),从供用句到功用句——“一锅饭吃十个人”的物性结构解读,《世界汉语教学》21:181–193
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Zhu, D. X.
    (1986) Parallel Principle of Transformational Analysis. Studies of The Chinese Language, (2). 朱德熙 ,(1986),变换分析中的平行性原则,《中国语文》(2)
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Zhu, J. L.
    (2017) Flip-flop Construction and Pantient-subject Sentence. Chinese Teaching in the World (3). 朱佳蕾 ,(2017),“一锅饭吃十个人”与受事主语句,《世界汉语教学》31:291–310
    [Google Scholar]
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error