Classifiers in English and Chinese: A corpus-based contrastive study

R. Xiao

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

This paper takes a corpus-based approach to cross-linguistic contrast of classifier constructions in English and Chinese on the basis of comparable corpora of spoken and written data in the two languages, with the aim of uncovering the potential differences and similarities in their use of classifiers. Chinese is generally recognized as a classifier language whereas current English grammars rarely mention the term ‘classifier’. Counterparts of Chinese classifiers in English are treated as a special group of nouns. Our study demonstrates that differences in use of classifiers in English and Chinese are more quantitative than qualitative, and classifiers in the two languages are less different from each other than their different terms in current use would suggest
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventThe Boundaries of Classification: Definitions, Processes and Adaptability - University of Kent, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 Sep 200818 Sep 2008

Conference

ConferenceThe Boundaries of Classification: Definitions, Processes and Adaptability
CountryUnited Kingdom
Period15/09/0818/09/08

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