Publication details [#6197]

Li, Charles N. and Sandra A. Thompson. 1975. The semantic function of word order: A case study in Mandarin. In Li, Charles N., ed. Word order and word order change. University of Texas Press. pp. 163–195.
Publication type
Article in book
Publication language
Language as a subject


On the semantic relevance of word order with respect to definiteness in Mandarin Chinese. Evidence is adduced to show that definite nouns tend to be placed before the verb, whereas indefinite nouns tend to follow the verb. The diachronic aspects of this phenomenon are highlighted.