The acquisition of Malay numeral classifiers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Most Sino-Tibetan and Austronesian languages have numeral classifiers (Adams & Conklin, 1973; Aikhenvald, 2003; Allan, 1977; Craig, 1986). Numeral classifiers are a syntactic–semantic category that is typically used in counting or referring to objects. Syntactically numeral classifiers occur predominantly as independent lexemes that occur contiguously with numerals and expressions of quantity in a noun phrase (Craig, 1986). Semantically, numeral classifiers explicitly classify nouns by denoting ‘some salient perceived or inputted characteristic’ of the entity in question (Allan, 1977, p. 285). This semantic classification includes categorising objects based on their physical, conceptual, and functional properties. Categorisation and labelling are essential processes in human cognition and language development. This process is influenced by the knowledge and information the speaker has about a particular object (Keil, 2003; Rosch et al., 1976). In numeral classifier languages both cognition-based universal features (e.g. Adams & Conklin, 1973; Allan, 1977) and culture-based idiosyncratic features (e.g. Yamamoto & Keil, 2000) influence the categorisation of objects into the classifier categories. Studying numeral classifier acquisition enables researchers to examine how children learn to categorise and label objects in their environment using a constrained framework and how this ability develops and becomes more refined over time. The present chapter gives an overview of the research on Malay numeral classifier acquisition. First, a brief introduction to the Malay numeral classifier system is given. Then the research that has so far been conducted on the acquisition of the Malay numeral classifier system is reviewed. Finally, further possible studies investigating numeral classifier acquisition are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSouth and Southeast Asian Psycholinguistics
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages71-78
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781139084642, 9781107017764
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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cognition
language
semantics
present
ability
time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Salehuddin, K. (2011). The acquisition of Malay numeral classifiers. In South and Southeast Asian Psycholinguistics (pp. 71-78). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139084642.009

The acquisition of Malay numeral classifiers. / Salehuddin, Khazriyati.

South and Southeast Asian Psycholinguistics. Cambridge University Press, 2011. p. 71-78.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Salehuddin, K 2011, The acquisition of Malay numeral classifiers. in South and Southeast Asian Psycholinguistics. Cambridge University Press, pp. 71-78. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139084642.009
Salehuddin K. The acquisition of Malay numeral classifiers. In South and Southeast Asian Psycholinguistics. Cambridge University Press. 2011. p. 71-78 https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139084642.009
Salehuddin, Khazriyati. / The acquisition of Malay numeral classifiers. South and Southeast Asian Psycholinguistics. Cambridge University Press, 2011. pp. 71-78
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