Quantification in Cantonese

Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 97)


After presenting some basic genetic, historical and typological information about Cantonese, this chapter outlines the quantification patterns it expresses. It illustrates various semantic types of quantifiers, such as generalized existential, generalized universal, proportional, definite and partitive which are defined in the Quantifier Questionnaire in chapter “ The Quantifier Questionnaire”. It partitions the expression of the semantic types into morpho-syntactic classes: Adverbial type quantifiers and Nominal (or Determiner) type quantifiers. For the various semantic and morpho-syntactic types of quantifiers it also distinguishes syntactically simple and syntactically complex quantifiers, as well as issues of distributivity and scope interaction, classifiers and measure expressions, and existential constructions. The chapter describes structural properties of determiners and quantified noun phrases in Cantonese, both in terms of internal structure (morphological or syntactic) and distribution.


Cantonese Quantification patterns Semantic Morpho-syntactic Quantifiers Classifiers Determiners Quantified noun phrases 



The work described in this paper was partially supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Project No: CityU 143113). The author thus acknowledges its generous support. Sincere thanks also go to the editors and the anonymous reviewers for their detailed and invaluable comments and suggestions. Any errors remain the author’s.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Linguistics and TranslationCity University of Hong KongHong KongPeople’s Republic of China

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