Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1606-822X
  • E-ISSN: 2309-5067



This paper provides an overview of the grammatical properties of the Cantonese , a nominal element that only attaches itself to [+human] nouns. We provide evidence to show that there are in fact two types of nominals. Their syntactic and semantic properties correlate with the number of syllables they consist of. There is a two-way split between disyllabic -nominals and multisyllabic -nominals. in disyllabic -nominals should be treated as a prosodic template filler while in multisyllabic -nominals occupies a syntactic position in the referential layer of the Chinese nominal.

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