I was hoping someone could shed some light on the use of 碗 as a measure word/not as a measure word as per the discussion in this subthread:
go_manlyMay 23, 2010, 06:26 AM
When 碗 is not a measure word, wouldn't it need to be preceded by another measure word? Like 一个碗 ?
It seems to me as though, in the example given, 大碗 is acting like a measure word.
When 碗 is the noun and not a MW it needs to be preceded by the MW 个.
In this example, 大碗 = MW.
Tvan's dictionary apparently says differently re the first point,
but for what it's worth I agree with both of the above Bob.
suansuanruMay 23, 2010, 08:03 AM
a measure word
not as a measure word,but a noun
碗is actually a measure word lend from noun just as 桶,so 碗 just means the amount that a bowl can hold.
In the thread baba refers to is the phrase 一大碗. I think the question is - is 碗 acting as a noun or a measure word there. If it is a noun, where is its measure word - and if it is a measure word, why does it come after the adjective. I am proposing that 大碗 might be acting as a measure word.
I am the one possibly responsible for confusing 300,000 people using Chinesepod with this original comment. :)
I said that the noun is often dropped so you just say the MW. So 一碗饭 if there is context becomes 一碗. Similarly 两大碗米线 (with enough context) becomes 两大碗。 I was suggesting that in this case the 碗 at the end of the sentence is actually a MW, not a noun. If it was a noun there would be no MW, which we can't have. (This is go_manly's point/question I think.)
I raised this point because I think it is quite common to drop the noun so the sentence ends with a MW. And often the MW at the end is 个。
The harder part of my question is what happens with 空碗? Can 碗 in 空碗be a MW as it is with 一大碗? can you say 一空碗？where 碗 is a MW? Or does it have to be 一个空碗/ 一个空杯子? With context can I say 一空个 in reference to the 一个空碗?
finrret34May 26, 2010, 02:28 AM
I'm new here and It's been more than twenty years since I studied Mandarin, so maybe you'll take what I have to say about measure or classifier words for what it's worth.
I remember one of my Chinese teachers making a comparison between Chinese and English usage of measure words, for example, yi1 bei3 bing1 shui3 and liang2 zhang1 zhi3 or san1 zhi1 gang1 bi3 (pardon my tones). These are very much like English constructions, and there are many of these, and there are even more that are not quite so parallel. For example, si4 kuai4 qian2, or liang2 mao2 bi3. I think most of the measure words here can be used as nouns, as can many others. I think most of the European languages use some measure words, though probably not so much as English which has a lot of homonyms such as write, right, and rite etc. and needs to clarify meaning differences. English uses phonetic spelling, for the most part, and stress and juncture to differentiate words that are similar. We don't think of glass, as in a glass of water or milk etc. as a measure. It's more of a noun, don't you think? But..... I'm not sure if even the Chinese think about whether bei3 is a noun or a measure word or consider a tone like a letter of the alphabet, as part of the spelling.
We don't think of glass, as in a glass of water or milk etc. as a measure. It's more of a noun, don't you think?
..hmm, I guess. If I heard the word "glass" on it's own I would definitely be thinking of a noun ,and void of context would probably be thinking of the material we call glass,not the drinking vessel. But if it was "a glass" I would be thinking of the vessel. And if it was " a glass of water" I would be thinking..hmm ..yeah I see your point...I know it is being used as a measure word but I think our main emphasis would come down to context..down to the person. Sometimes the type of vessel one is drinking from is important to the person [wine having to be drunk from a wine glass,coffee from a coffee mug,tea from a tea cup] and sometimes I think it is about the volume ...one wants to drink a glass of water [whatever volume that represents..it can vary a bit...but one can always ask for another]. Probably most of the time neither matter too much...someone just wants a drink and a glass is a common thing to have it in.Now a "cup" on the other hand can be quite specific if used in recipes/cooking and in that case is clearly being used as a measure word...again it comes down to context.
Good point. I'm very impressed with how much one depends on context in spoken Chinese. I imagine that our English is, with texting, and reduced concern for formal grammar, etc., is getting closer every day to Chinese.
Would you understand e.g., with0ut further context, a phrase such as yi1 zhang1 bei3?
finrret34May 26, 2010, 04:57 AM
You can google using "chinese measure words" as an inquiry topic and locate quite a few interesting articles on the subject.
bodaweiMay 29, 2010, 10:35 AM
I don't want to devalue the educational value of this thread, but is Chinese going to the dogs?
I had an interesting talk to a Chinese teacher during the week who said that there is a fad among young people for dropping measure words. Not only for 一个 (as pointed out by suansuanru I believe) but any MW. Apparently it is a trend in Beijing, and kids around China like to talk like the young people in Beijing because it is thought to be cool. The teacher stressed that it is 'incorrect', particularly in writing, but increasingly common in everyday speech.
Can anyone lend support or otherwise to this observation?
Yes young people would like to drop measure words in everyday speech in Beijing,but have you observed that they can never drop the measure word if the amount of the things/people being related is above 3? For example, they will say 一老头、俩老头、仨老头,but never四老头、五老头. And the measure word of 碗 cannot be dropped. And I think That is totally Beijing hua,not Mandarin.