Classifying Classifiers
Carol-Rose Little, Mary Moroney, Justin Royer
January 2021

Drawing on data from three typologically different languages, this paper investigates the semantic function of numeral classifiers. In the literature, there are two main families of proposals for numeral classifiers. The first argues that classifiers are needed for numerals: the classifier first combines with the numeral before combining with the noun (e.g. Krifka 1995, Bale & Coon 2014, Bale et al. 2019), which we call classifier-for-numeral theories. This contrasts with the set of theories that argues that classifiers are needed for nouns, meaning that the classifier combines with the noun before combining with the numeral (e.g Chierchia 1998, Cheng & Sybesma 1999), which we call classifier-for-noun theories. Here, we investigate predictions of both families of theories and provide evidence that both are correct, but for different languages.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005672
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Proceedings of SULA 11
keywords: classifiers, numerals, numeral-classifiers, semantics, mayan, tai, ch'ol, chuj, shan, semantics, morphology
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