Volume 3, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2665-9336
  • E-ISSN: 2665-9344
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This paper is a typological exploration of the nominal classification systems found in the Austronesian languages of Taiwan, with special focus on their meanings, forms and functions within the Austronesian typological context. Based on Aikhenvald’s defining properties and classifications of classifiers (2000201720192021forthcoming), the Austronesian languages of Taiwan investigated in this study display a set of relatively small classifier systems consisting of numeral classifiers and other classifier-like terms, such as measure words and verbal action classifiers. Numeral classifiers can be free or bound morphemes. The choice of a numeral classifier is based on the semantic features of a noun referent, mostly involving ‘humanness’. Though not every referent has to be assigned to a numeral classifier, numeral classifiers always accompany numerals. In these languages, none of them have numeral classifiers without presupposing the presence of sortal classifiers.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Austronesian; classifier; measure word; numeral classifier; verbal action classifier
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