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Dynamic Meaning of Modern Chinese Adjectives ― Focusing on Adding ‘le’

  • JOURNAL OF CHINESE STUDIES
  • 2020, (69), pp.27-51
  • DOI : 10.26585/chlab.2020..69.002
  • Publisher : CHINESE STUDIES INSTITUTE
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature
  • Received : July 31, 2020
  • Accepted : September 6, 2020
  • Published : September 30, 2020

Choi Shinhye 1

1고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the phenomenon that modern Chinese adjectives have a dynamic meaning with the aspect marker ‘le’, and contrasts them with the situation in Korean and English, and examines them from a typological perspective. Unlike English or Korean, where the process is encoded as a verb and the atemporal relation is encoded as an adjective, in Chinese, not only the atemporal relation but also the meaning of the process can be encoded as an adjective. But in order for adjectives in Chinese to represent the process meaning, they must have a aspect marker like ‘le’. Chinese adjectives may represent static attribute meanings under the modifier of degree adverb ‘hen’, and may also represent the meaning of dynamic change with ‘le’. Therefore, we think that the meaning of change is not the inner meaning of the adjectives, but rather the meaning of the adjectives by adding the aspect marker ‘le’ to the static attribute meaning. Chinese adjectives are ‘verb-like’ adjectives along with Korean according to syntactic criteria. However, in terms of semantic standards, unlike Korean, it has process semantic qualities. This is due to differences in the language type of Chinese as an isolated language.

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