Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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Adjectives in Excessive Reading
(715 words)

In descriptions of Mandarin grammar, the term "excessive" (piānlí 偏離) refers to the semantics denoted by the combination of a verb (V) and an open scale gradable adjective (A) in the sense that they sometimes express that there is too much of the property the adjective denotes, in any case, more than the speaker expected or thought necessary (Lù 1990, Mǎ and Lù 1997), as exemplified by (1a). The excessive meaning of such VA phrases is often contrasted with the more typical action-result meaning of resultative VA phrases, such as xǐ gānjing 洗幹淨 ‘wash-clean’.






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Guozhen PENG, “Adjectives in Excessive Reading”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 25 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000148>
First published online: 2015

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