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JeffW

tamen ban de xuesheng

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JeffW

Friends:

One of my Chinese textbooks introduces a dialog with the sentence, "The students in Mr. Li Yimin's class are talking about the performance."

李一民他门班的学生说表演的事儿。

Li Yimin tamen ban de xuesheng shuo biaoyan de shir.

I asked my teacher about the construction of the subject-noun-phrase; why is "tamen" (rather than "de") inserted between the teacher's name and "ban"? She said the sentence was correct, and that to say it without "tamen" would suggest that the teacher was a student in the class instead, but could offer no clear explanation of the underlying principle here.

Is this simply an idiom, or is there a more general rule to be gleaned from the example?

JeffW

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Hongbao

In Chinese you refer to your class, company, country and other similar things that you share with other in plural. 我们班,你们国家 etc. I'm sure there's a linguistic term for it but I unfortunately don't know it.

Hongbao

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kudra

Is this sentence out of the blue, or is there some context? For example is Li Yimin a recurring character in the text, who you know from previous lessons is a teacher?

I am not fluent, but this just seems inherently ambiguous. To me, the "tamen" does seem to provide some separation between Li Yimin and the "ban de xuesheng," however, what if the sentence was

Li Yimin tamen ban de tongxue shuo biaoyan de shi.

I'm guessing this implies Li Yimin is a student in the class in spite of the "tamen ban" construction.

I'll be interested to hear what native speakers say about this.

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Koneko

李一民他门[sic]班的学生

It should be 李一民他们班的学生. This sentence can even be shortened to 李一民班的学生

K.

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JeffW

Thanks for the replies.

kudra, yes, Li Yimin is a recurring character, the teacher of the students' Chinese class.

Koneko, right you are, the "men" character was incorrect in my post. Sharp eye you have. But your subsequent comment is right to the point: my teacher told me the sentence could not be shortened, omitting the "tamen", without suggesting a change in meaning. And I cannot locate a reference that would explain the structure of the noun phrase, that is, a noun and a pronoun modifiying another noun, and neither followed by "de". I can see where a "de" particle might be omitted after "tamen", but I am unfamiliar with any precedent for omitting such a particle after a proper name as well. And if this were a topic-comment construction, it should have a comma after Li Yimin's name, yes?

By the way, the text is a BCLUP publication.

Jeff

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hbuchtel

I get the impression that the speaker is using the teacher's name to describe a group of people within a larger group, sort of like-

"Li Yimin, those guys, are talking with their classmates about the performance." (kind of awkward in English...)

Like if you said the name of a well-known teacher to refer to his students.

"李一民那一些学生的班的同学说表演的事儿”

I agree with Kudra that it seems like Li Yimin is a student . . . what textbook is it from?

Henry

EDIT: whoops! didn't see your last post.

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Koneko

Hi Jeff,

I am not 100% sure but I think 李一民班的学生 can further shorten to 李一民班学生??

You would have to pause it slightly after 李一民, then 班, and finish with 学生.

It's orally understandable but it might look a bit confusing in written form.

K.

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Quest
李一民他门班的学生说表演的事儿。

This sentence does not tell you conclusively whether 李一民 is a teacher or a student.

李一民班学生 is wrong in Mandarin, but ok in Cantonese with 班 being a measure word and the sentence implies 李一民 being a teacher.

李一民班的学生 is barely acceptable, but 李一民班上的学生 would sound better.

"李一民那一些学生的班的同学说表演的事儿” is incorrect.

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hbuchtel
"李一民那一些学生的班的同学说表演的事儿” is incorrect.

No it isn't!:lol:

Well, I don't think it is anyway, would you mind explaining what is wrong with it?

What I was trying to do is stretch out the original sentence to make it more clear.

Henry

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Ardison

I think:

lǐ yì mín bān shànɡ de xué shenɡ zhènɡ zài tán biáo yǎn de shì ér 。

李 一 民 班 上 的 学 生 正 在 谈 表 演 的 事 儿 。

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