Marking (In)definiteness in Classifier Languages

In: Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics
L. Julie JiangUniversity of Hawai‘i,

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Nouns in Chinese-type languages behave differently in several salient ways from those in Germanic and Romance languages. To name a few: Chinese-type nouns do not have obligatory plural markers (-s/es) or articles (a/an/the), but they do have a unique, systematic inventory of classifiers, or words that obligatorily appear with nouns and numbers. Though Chinese-type languages have a great deal in common with one another in the nominal domain, we observe that these languages vary dramatically with respect to how definiteness and indefiniteness are encoded. This paper explores these differences and proposes a modified model of nps based on to accommodate data from both Chinese-type languages and languages with obligatory plural marking. (This article is in English.)

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