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Three Mechanisms of Chinese Noun Classifiers

JIANG Ying (College of Minority Languages and Literature, Central University for Nationalities, Beijing 100081, China)  
Through a case study of the development of noun classifiers, this paper reveals the three mechanisms which contribute greatly to the grammaticalization of Chinese classifiers: the metaphorical mechanism, the inferential mechanism and the generalized mechanism, discusses the different features and the mutual relations of the three mechanisms, and analyses the relationship between the three mechanisms and the cognitive rules.
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