Comparative Grammar of Chinese and English

It uses a pretty basic 1950’s Generative phrase structure grammar, which means that it shouldn’t be intimidating reading, even for newbies.

I find comparative books are most helpful. Most of the text says:
“English does it this way. Chinese does it this way.”
“You can do this in this language. You can’t do this in the other language.”

Of course, knowing how Chinese works doesn’t really go far to helping someone speak Chinese. You need massive input for that. I don’t really recommend that newbies to Chinese language stock up with grammar books, no matter how basic. It always ends in rules-and-output.

Language. What it means. Language. What it means. Lather, rinse and repeat.

Later, when you speak Chinese already and are interested, have at the grammar.

This grammar, in particular, is only of interest to someone who likes linguistic grammar. It won’t be particularly helpful to anyone trying to learn the language, even by rules-and-output.

I think that the old Thompson and Li book is the best introduction to the grammar of Mandarin for learners rather than linguists. Probably most useful for students at an intermediate level.

Ironlady’s advice is spot on though for actually learning the language. Usage is a lot more important than grammar.

You don’t need to know how a car works in order to drive it; you need to know how it works in order to repair it.

But, yeah, this is a supplemental text, not a self-contained guide to fluency.

I think you will get more positive responses to posts like this one on a forum dedicated to Chinese linguistics, not to Chinese learning. This is not even a “supplemental text”. It’s a linguistic analysis from a particular linguistic perspective. Very few learners are ever going to be interested in this sort of thing.Not “none”, but “very few”.

That depends on how you define “learners.” For I dare say “many” of us lifelong learners, it is great to see linguistics stuff like this. I’ll probably never read the whole text, but it was interesting to scan it, and good to know that it is out there. I hope that we do not discourage people from posting all kinds of things that have even marginal relevance to learning Chinese, not just those that fit into particular learning paradigms.

Feel free to volunteer as a mod anytime.

My comment was not meant as a criticism of your moderating by any means. I generally appreciate your comments and takes on things very much, especially in the field of language learning, in which you are certainly more expert than I.

I just hope that people will continue to post a broad range of materials in this area (especially as we don’t have a separate linguistics forum, nor do I see any particular need for one on Forumosa).