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Title: Some aspects of the ontological development of nominal classifiers in Cantonese
Authors: Poon, Yuen-wai Emma
Keywords: Sino-Tibetan Languages
Chinese Languages
Issue Date: 1981
Publisher: University of Hong Kong
Abstract: This is a study of the acquisition of Cantonese nominal classifiers of the [+EXACT]+[ENTITY] with reference to concrete objects. The study utilizes the method of sampling subjects from various ages in order to determine a development trend in the acquisition of nominal classifiers in Cantonese. 27 subjects were interviewed from the ages of 2^- to 6^. The subjects were given pictures for identification, with the aim of eliciting from them measure phrases containing classifiers. It is found that, a) The general hypothesis that "older children can use more classifiers more appropriately than younger children" is confirmed* Still,- by 6%9 the oldest subject had not reached adult proficiency* b) "That classification based on shape is prevalent in the children" is suggested by the cases of over-generalizations. Other interesting observations have been made from which hypotheses for further research have arisen. According to the writer, here lies the main contribution of the study: not in giving answers but in suggesting questions.
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