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U2L3 Subordination (偏正式)

U2L3 Subordination (偏正式)

In this lesson, ​subordination(偏正式)will be introduced.  Subordination is a structure that allows a noun(名詞)to be modified by another word.   The noun being modified is called “the head” and the modifying noun is called “the modifier”; the modifier would precede the head.

Structure of subordination
The modifier(修飾語) + the head(端語)

 

The followings are the usages of subordination.  In this lesson, usage 1 will be introduced.

Usages of subordination

Usage 1Using the modifier to indicate the amount of the head
Usage 2Using the modifier to indicate the social relationship between the modifier and the head
Usage 3Using the modifier to describe the status and the features of the head
Usage 4Using the modifier to indicate the possessor of the head

 

Describing a noun with number

To describe a noun with a number(數詞), a counter(量詞)has to be used before noun as a modifier. Since there are so many counters in Cantonese, a list of counters would not be provided here.

Jat1 go3 ping4 gwo2

一個蘋果

An apple

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier一個
Head蘋果

 

Saam1 zeon1 zau2

三樽酒

Three bottle of wine

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier三樽
Head

 

Keoi5 jau5 jat1 go3 ping4 gwo2

有一個蘋果。

She has an apple.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speechNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence一個蘋果

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier一個
Head蘋果

 

Ngo5 jau5 loeng5 go3 neoi5 pang4 jau5

我有兩個女朋友。

I have two girlfriends.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speechNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence兩個女朋友

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier兩個
Head女朋友

Ngo5 jau5 ji6 sap6 ji6 go3 pang4 jau5

我有二十二個朋友。

I have twenty-two friends.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speechNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence二十二個朋友

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier二十二個
Head朋友

 

Describing a personal pronoun with numbers

Personal pronoun(人稱代詞)cannot be used as a head under subordination.  Personal pronoun include the followings:

Personal Pronoun

我[ngo5]我哋[ngo5 dei6]
你[nei5]你哋[nei5 dei6]
佢[keoi5]佢哋[keoi5 dei6]
人哋[jan4 dei6]大家[daai6 gaa1]

If you want to describe a personal pronoun with numbers, you have to put the number and counter after the personal pronoun as a cognate object(同指賓語); in this case, the structure of subordination is not used.  For cognate object, you will learn more about it at Unit 2 Lesson 14.

ngo5 laam2 zo2 loeng5 go3 jan4

我攬兩個人。(Correct) (Describing a noun)

I have hugged two people.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixObject
Part of speechNounVerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence兩個人

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier兩個
Head

 

ngo5 laam2 zo2 keoi5 dei6 loeng5 go3

我攬咗佢哋兩個。(Correct) (Describing a pronoun)

I have hugged two of them.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixObjectCognate object
Part of speechNounVerbPredicative suffixNounNoun
Words in sentence佢哋兩個

 

Cognate object of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier
Head

 

lou5 si1 fat6 zo2 ngo5 dei6 saam1 go3

老師罰咗我哋三個。

The teacher has punished we three.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixObjectCognate object
Part of speechNounVerbPredicative suffixNounNoun
Words in sentence老師我哋三個

 

Cognate object of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier
Head

 

ngo5 hou2 gwaa3 zyu6 keoi5 dei6 sei3 go3

我好掛住佢哋四個。

I miss all four of them so much.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObjectCognate object
Part of speechNounAdverbVerbNounNoun
Words in sentence掛住佢哋四個

 

Cognate object of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier
Head

 

ngo5 mei6 gin3 gwo3 keoi5 dei6 luk6 go3

我未見過佢哋六個。

I have never seen all six of them.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicatePredicative suffixObjectCognate object
Part of speechNounAdverbVerbPredicative suffixNounNoun
Words in sentence佢哋六個

 

Cognate object of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier
Head

 

ging2 caat3 wan2 gan2 keoi5 dei6 sap6 go3

警察搵𡁵佢哋十個。

The police is finding all ten of them.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixObjectCognate object
Part of speechNounVerbPredicative suffixNounNoun
Words in sentence警察𡁵佢哋十個

 

Cognate object of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier
Head

Reference

  1. 張洪年(2007)。香港粤語語法的研究(增訂版)。香港:中文大學出版社,頁 91-95

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