Topic: Object Fronting in Mandarin Chinese: An Observation on Students Learning Chinese as a Second Language
The typical object fronting sentence with word order of SOV in Mandarin Chinese usually can be restored from a sentence with word order of SVO, as in 小明不喝葡萄酒 ‘Xiao-ming does not drink wine’ and 葡萄酒小明不喝 ‘Wine, Xiao-ming does not drink it’. Those sentences usually involve the issue of focus and topic. However, Dr. Chen has found that some sentences with SOV word order have no original sentences. It is still obligatory to put the object to the front of the verb, as in 我珍珠奶茶喝來喝去，覺得還是台灣的好喝 ‘After trying bubble milk tea around many places, I think that in Taiwan is the best’ and 這杯珍珠奶茶喝起來很好喝 ‘This bubble milk tea tastes good’. The verbs of these sentences are mostly characterized by a phase complement or a verb-copying.
For learners who have just learned the basic Chinese word order SVO, when they encounter such a sentence with the word order arranged as (S)OV, there are often learning obstacles. Dr. Chen’s talk tries to compare Mandarin with Taiwanese Southern Min, expounds the characteristics of the complements in the sentences of Chinese-language objects, and discuss the common features of these sentences from the problems encountered by her students.