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date: 21 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the use of classifiers in four varieties of Chinese: Mandarin, Wu, Min, and Cantonese. It analyzes the distribution and interpretation of the different forms of nominal expressions in these languages, as well the variation that they display in this regard. The articlew investigates the question of what parameters play a role and attempts to find deeper reasons for some of the systematic contrasts. It also discusses the correlations between form, interpretation, and distribution of three different types of nominal expressions in Mandarin, Min, Wu, and Cantonese.

Keywords: classifiers, Chinese languages, Mandarin, Wu, Min, Cantonese, nominal expressions, systematic contrasts

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