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Journal of East Asian Linguistics

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 43–59 | Cite as

Numeral classifiers in Mandarin Chinese

  • Hong Zhang
Original Paper

Abstract

This article uses a multilevel approach to study the Chinese numeral classifiers. It argues that although shape categories constitute a major cognitive base for numeral classification, lexical taxonomy, linguistic convention, and stylistic creativity also play a role in determining the use of Chinese classifiers. It cautions that in general the relationship between noun and classifier is explicable from the semantic/cognitive stance, but the relationship is not always transparent and consistent. At times the choice of a classifier can be entirely arbitrary and subject to linguistic innovation.

Keywords

Head Noun Class Term Lexical Meaning Noun Class Linguistic Convention 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of East Asian StudiesColby CollegeWatervilleUSA

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