The Structure of Multiple Classifier Constructions and Some Related Theoretical Issues



Yang Yongzhong



Yunnan University of Finance and Economics, China








This paper addresses multiple classifier constructions (MCCs) in terms of internal structure and derivation. Based on a summary of the major features of MCCs, the paper proposes that MCCs are composed of DP and NumP. The combination of the two numeral-classifiers denotes a complete structure, which presents the pattern of double numeral-classifiers. DP serves as the head while NumP serves as the complement. There is no coordination but topic-comment relation between the embedded DP and NumP. The embedded DP c-commands NumP. NumP moves across the board to the specifier position of the external DP to give rise to various types of MCCs. Movement of the classifier of MCCs is triggered by numeral gapping. Based on this, it is argued that all MCCs must be of this nature in terms of the underlying structure. This contention can provide a reasonable solution to many long-standing puzzles related to MCCs.


multiple classifier constructions (MCCs), noun deletion, numeral gapping, feature checking, genitivization


DOI: 10.26478/ja2022.10.17.1


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