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English Quasi-Numeral Classifiers

A Corpus-Based Cognitive-Typological Study


Xu Zhang

This book is an interdisciplinary study of English binominal quantitative constructions based on English-Chinese comparison. Taking three perspectives, i.e. a functional-typological perspective, a cognitive approach, and a corpus-based method, it aims to unveil the hidden categorisation process behind the usage of English binominal quantitative constructions and to reveal the language universal in cognising the concepts of ‘Quantity’ and ‘Quality’. It argues against treating Chinese and English as members of two opposing typological camps concerning quantification modes (‘classifier languages’ versus ‘non-classifier languages’) and advocates to view the two languages as lying within a more extended and inclusive system, viz. a system of quantification and categorisation modes, or a Quantity-Quality continuum.

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Aarts, Bas 1998. Binominal noun phrases in English. Transactions of the Philological Society, 96(1), 117–158.

Adams, Karen Lee / Conklin, Nancy 1973. Toward a theory of natural classification. In C. Corum, et al (ed.), Papers from the Ninth Regional Meeting Chicago Linguistic Society (pp. 1–10). Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.

Ahrens, Kathleen 1994. Classifier production in normals and aphasics. Journal of Chinese Linguistics, 22, 203–246.

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