Distinguishing classifiers in Taiwanese Southern Min

Meng Ying Chen, Miao Ling Hsieh, One Soon Her

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The past few decades have witnessed great progress in the study of Taiwanese Southern Min (TSM). A good many studies of measure words can be found, yet very few studies of classifiers are available, which may be largely due to the lack of a rigorous methodology and explicit criteria to distinguish classifiers (C) from measure words (M). This conspicuous void may adversely affect the teaching of TSM classifiers. With an aim to classify classifiers, we employ syntactic and semantic tests to distinguish classifiers from measure words as proposed in Her & Hsieh (2010) and Her (2012) for Mandarin Chinese, and come up with an inventory of 83 TSM classifiers (65 being classifiers and 18 both classifiers and measure words) by examining the lists of classifiers/measure words found in previous literature. This inventory can be compared with one in Taiwan Mandarin (e.g. Her & Lai (2012)) for further future research and teaching of classifiers in TSM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-407
Number of pages33
JournalLanguage and Linguistics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun 16


  • Classifiers
  • Individual measure words
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Measure words
  • Taiwanese Southern Min

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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