Current Trends in Chinese Discourse
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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This study compared and analysed the classifier usage in two cohorts: the 492 Cantonese-speaking young children tested in 1995 (Tse & Li, 2011), and the 143 children tested in 2010 (Li &Tse, 2011). The results indicated that: (1) the 1995 and 2010 cohorts shared the same 8 most commonly used classifiers, 個 go3, 隻 zek3, 架 gaa3, 杯 bui1, 把 baa2, 嚿 gau6, 張 zoeng1, 間 gaan1; (2) Two top 10 classifiers were found in the 2010 cohort: 支 zi1, and 部 bou6; (3) both cohorts overused the general classifier 個 go3; and (4) both cohorts overused 隻 zek3 and 嚿 gau6 to replace sortal classifiers and even to replace the general classifier 個 go3. The pragmatic features and the associated social changes were discussed to understand the minor changes in classifier use between 1995 and 2010 cohorts.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Cantonese; classifier use; young children
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