Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1877-9751
  • E-ISSN: 1877-976X
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This paper investigates the near-synonymy of classifiers, using Chinese and as illustration. We find that in , the two classifiers have overlapping semantic prototypes due to their similar behavioral profiles. However, despite a shared functional core, the two classifiers diverge in terms of which part of to profile. In particular, highlights parts of that are small and vulnerable, such as flowers and seedlings. In addition, is another important conceptual characteristic exclusively associated with , which gives it a distinctive set of peripheral members to include in that particular linguistic category, including , , and even . Another important difference is the quantifier that precedes, where tends to occur with lower numbers (typically under 10), while with higher numbers (typically over 1,000). Accordingly, we conclude that tends to invoke a higher-resolution construal.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Chinese; classifier; construal; quantifier; synonymy
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