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  1. #1
    sky753 is offline Senior Member
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    Hypotaxis and parataxis?

    Hello Everyone,

    According to the linguists, the vital difference between English and Chinese is hypotaxis and parataxis.

    Hypotaxis according to my rough understanding is that in English connections inside sentences and among sentences are through lexical devices and syntatic devices while in Chinese connnections are more likely through "meaning" and "context".

    I will just take one sentence to illuminate the differences.
    For example in the sentence:

    "The boy had his breakfast and went off to school." " his" and " and " are used to make the whole sentence together, while in its equivalent Chinese, " and " and " his" are not used and the version is as follows: " The boy had breafast, went off to school."

    I would like to know here if you can recommend excellent websites which discuss such differences? Also can you recommend websites or books here how the paragraph are connected in English?

    Thanks and Best Regards

    Sky

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Hypotaxis and parataxis?

    As I understand the terms, you can find both in English. In hypotaxis, there is subordination and in parataxis there is a link through juxtaposition, which is found in written English, for instance where a semi-colon replaces a conjunction and is very common in spoken language where we often lump things together without connection. I cannot comment on Chinese, so there may well be many differences in the degree to which they're used, but you will find both in English.

  3. #3
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Hypotaxis and parataxis?

    Quote Originally Posted by sky753 View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    According to the linguists, the vital difference between English and Chinese is hypotaxis and parataxis.

    Hypotaxis according to my rough understanding is that in English connections inside sentences and among sentences are through lexical devices and syntatic devices while in Chinese connnections are more likely through "meaning" and "context".

    I will just take one sentence to illuminate the differences.
    For example in the sentence:

    "The boy had his breakfast and went off to school." " his" and " and " are used to make the whole sentence together, while in its equivalent Chinese, " and " and " his" are not used and the version is as follows: " The boy had breafast, went off to school."

    I would like to know here if you can recommend excellent websites which discuss such differences? Also can you recommend websites or books here how the paragraph are connected in English?

    Thanks and Best Regards

    Sky

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good afternoon, Sky.

    (1) If possible, check with a good library to see whether they have copies

    of an old (1983) two-volume grammar entitled A GRAMMAR OF THE

    ENGLISH LANGUAGE, by Professor George O. Curme.

    He discusses in Volume 2 the development of parataxis in English. I

    think that you will find it very informative.

    Read the book, you will not regret it. (An example of parataxis that

    expresses condition.)

    Have a nice day!

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