A Cognition-based Study of 双 (shuāng), 对 (duì), 副 (fù) and 套 (tào)

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    This paper presents a cognition-based study of four Chinese measure words, namely, 双 (shuāng), 对 (duì), 副 (fù) and 套 (tào), carried out within the theoretical framework of cognitive linguistics, which has proved to offer a much more comprehensive approach to the study of Chinese linguistic categories than traditional approaches. By constructing a prototype theory of these four categories the author attempts to: 1) show their distribution with respect to the noun classes they select; 2) explain the limits of these categories and their overlapping; 3) identify central, natural extension and metaphorical extension members -and within each group the prototypes and the more peripheral members; 4) explain their internal coherence in terms of the family resemblance principle; and 5) shed some light on the influence of Chinese cultural models on the Chinese classification system and, specifically, on their role in the creation of these four categories. We believe our findings will be helpful to foreign students learning to use these four measure words.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)57-87
    Number of pages31
    JournalJournal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association
    Issue number26
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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