On Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 08:22:57PM -0500, DOUGLAS KOLLER wrote:
> From: "H. S. Teoh"
> > But why can't "le" be a particle that can be used with more than one class
> > of words?
> Because it's a verbal particle.

What makes it a verbal particle? Because it's used with verbs? But then
it's also used with adjectives. So in itself, it seems to be insufficient
basis for saying that adjectives are stative verbs. (Of course, neither is
it against the stative verbs theory, so it doesn't really say much.)

> Okay, okay. I looked up "che1" and it is also a verb meaning "to transport
> by cart". I haven't heard "che1 da4 pao4" before, but then, to learn slang
> or idiomatic expressions often meant just picking it up from TV or the
> newspaper. Using it in conversation with the natives would then turn to
> "Where did you learn THAT!!!??? That's not standard!"

Well, "che1 da4 pao4" is quite informal, and also quite sarcastic. I'm
not surprised you don't see it in newspapers :-P

> > So "le" can be used with "che1"... but of course, it still seems to apply
> > only to verbs and adjectives. So perhaps the stative verb explanation
> > really does make sense after all. (Of course, I could claim that "le" in
> > such cases simply modify the implicit copula, but I've trouble believing
> > myself for that one :-P)
> That would mean that sentences like "*Ta1 shi4 le" are okay, and that sounds
> very weird to me. If you say this is an okay utterance, then I'm going to
> argue that what is implicit is not the copula but the predicate noun or
> adjective. Be forewarned.

Hmm. "Ta1 shi4 le" sounds odd to me too. "Ta1 shi4" is OK, when answering
a question such as "Shui2 shi4 lau2pan3?" ("who's the boss?"). But adding
"le" sounds strange to me, unless there's a context I haven't thought of
where it might make sense.

Let's eat some disquits while we format the biskettes.