Due to the lack of a rigorous methodology and explicit criteria to distinguish between classifiers (C) and measure words (M), previous inventories of Mandarin C’s, or geti liangci 個體量詞, vary greatly. Based on the insight that an M in a Chinese [Num C/M N] phrase is semantically substantive, while a C is semantically redundant and thus does not block numeral quantification or adjectival modification to the noun, this paper further proposes that while C/M both function as a multiplicand mathematically, with Num as the multiplier, C’s value is necessarily 1 and M is not, thus ~1. Cognitively, however, the semantically redundant C serves to profile an inherent semantic feature of N and thus selects a narrow class of N’s. With these explicit distinctions between C and M, we then re-examine the inventory of C’s put forth in國語日報量詞典Mandarin Daily News Dictionary of Measure Words and offer a much more reliable list of C’s in Taiwan Mandarin.
International Journal of Computer Processing of Oriental Languages, 0(0), 0