A Count-Mass Typology for Hong Kong Sign Language

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The following paper presents some data on the count-mass distinction in Hong Kong Sign Language. With the notable exception of Koulidobrova’s (2021) research on American Sign Language, count-mass distinctions have not been studied in the context of Sign Linguistics. Based on these data, it is possible to categorise Hong Kong Sign Language as a Type I language according to Chierchia’s (2010) count-mass language typology. The data show that Hong Kong Sign Language count nouns combine directly with numerals, whereas mass nouns require the intervention of a numeral classifier of the mensural type. Hong Kong Sign Language count nouns use zero marking as pluralisation strategy.



Classifier intervention, count-mass typology, Hong Kong Sign Language, noun countability, Sign Linguistics


Koenders, Emily. "A Count-Mass Typology for Hong Kong Sign Language." Buckeye East Asian Linguistics, vol. 7 (August 2023), p. 85-93.