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Acquisition of Classifiers and the Count-Mass Distinction, L1 (Mandarin)

(2,963 words)

Author(s): Peggy LI | Pierina CHEUNG
In numerical classifier languages, such as Mandarin, classifiers are morphemes that occur next to numerals and “classify” nouns on some semantic basis (Classifiers). For example, ‘three cats’ in Mandarin requires the classifier zhī 隻, which is typically used with nouns for animals ( sān zhī māo 三隻貓 ‘three clf cat’). Thus, nominal syntax differs between classifier languages and “count-mass” languages such as English. In this review, we first focus on how children learning classifier languages inform us about the development of the count-mass …
Date: 2017-03-02