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An investigation into Chinese classifiers: the creation and general acceptance of new nominal connections in Mandarin Chinese

Aaron, Nathaniel (2023) An investigation into Chinese classifiers: the creation and general acceptance of new nominal connections in Mandarin Chinese. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study investigates the usage and selection of nominal classifiers in Mandarin Chinese. The first part of the study reviews the categories and historical evolvement of Chinese classifiers, with introductions to the default classifier 个 ge and complications in classifier usages. Dialectical differences and the evolvement of classifiers in the Modern era including the Internet Age are also discussed. The second part of the thesis reports an empirical study that aimed to reveal trends of classifier selections for various objects, with a particular focus on patterns of use for unconventional objects and new inventions. Forty-four Mandarin Chinese native speakers completed the survey. The findings indicate that participants tend to default to strong associations with 台 tai and ge for inventions; participants also demonstrated positive associations with salient features particularly shape and animal-based classifiers. These results shed light on the classification trends seen in the realm of technology and provide insight into how the classification system may evolve to accommodate new nouns in the future.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Aaron, NathanielNAB170@pitt.eduNAB170
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairXu,
Committee MemberJuffs,
Committee MemberQian,
Committee MemberZhang,
Date: 19 April 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 7 April 2023
Approval Date: 19 April 2023
Submission Date: 17 April 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 61
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chinese; Classifier(s) (CL); classification system; salient features; inventions
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2023 15:46
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2023 15:46


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