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Merging FeaturesComputation, Interpretation, and Acquisition$
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José M. Brucart, Anna Gavarró, and Jaume Solà

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199553266

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199553266.001.0001

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Acquisition of plurality in a language without plurality *

Acquisition of plurality in a language without plurality *

(p.310) 17 Acquisition of plurality in a language without plurality*
Merging Features

Alan Munn

Xiaofei Zhang

Cristina Schmitt

Oxford University Press

Mandarin Chinese has no marking for either plurality or definiteness on bare nominals, but has a portmanteau morpheme -men which encodes both plurality and definiteness. This chapter shows that the distinct properties of -men are learned at different times, and that the younger children have a strong bias to treat definite NPs, whether bare or with -men, as generic.

Keywords:   Chinese, definiteness, genericity, plurality, acquisition, Mandarin, bare nominals

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