Classifiers in Event and Nominal Plurality in Mandarin

Kyumin Kim 1 ,
Author Information & Copyright
1Chungbuk National University
Corresponding Author: Kyumin Kim Professor Department of English Language and Literature 298 Chungbuk National University Chungdae-ro 1, Seowon-gu Cheongjusi, 28644 Korea E-mail:

ⓒ Copyright 2021 Language Education Institute, Seoul National University. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Oct 21, 2020 ; Revised: Dec 12, 2020 ; Accepted: Mar 08, 2021

Published Online: Apr 30, 2021


Event plurality indicates multiplicity of an event. One of the major issues pertaining to event plurality in the literature has been the extent to which it is parallel to nominal plurality. The current literature suggests that event and nominal plurality are in parallel in that a plural event denotes a mass meaning similar to a bare plural noun that denotes mass. However, a plural event in some languages such as Mandarin does not show a mass meaning, and a bare plural noun is lacking in the language. This paper addresses a question of how to characterize a parallel between event and nominal plurality in Mandarin. It provides a novel proposal in which the parallel in Mandarin can be characterized in terms of corresponding classifiers in the event and nominal domains. A major contribution of this paper is that it suggests that event plurality is not a unified phenomenon similar to nominal plurality.

Keywords: event; nominal; plural; classifier; parallel



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