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Pivot Construction
(2,541 words)

In so-called pivot constructions (jiānyǔ jiégòu 兼語結構; alternatively called “telescopic constructions”), the subject of the second predicate is at the same time the object of the first predicate. For instance:




Sīlìngyuán     mìnglìng  bùduì   chūfā.


commander  order         troops  set.out


‘The commander ordered the troops to set out.’

Example (1) has the configuration: Noun1 (commander) + Verb1 (order) + Noun2 (troops) + Verb2 (set out). Noun2 bùduì 部隊 ‘troops’ in the structure is not only the object of Verb1 but also the subject of Verb2. Ther…

Cite this page
Zhiguo ZHAO, Fan LIU and Yang SHEN, “Pivot Construction”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 22 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000333>
First published online: 2015

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