Disyllabic localizers in modern Chinese

Xiaowen Nie, Feng Hsi Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study investigates the syntactic behavior of disyllabic localizers in Modern Chinese. Recent studies (Huang et al. 2009; Djamouri et al. 2013; Liu and Oakden 2014) point out the boundness nature of disyllabic localizers, but to date there has been no consensus on what syntactic status they have. We examine a wide range of disyllabic localizers and find that disyllabic localizers do not all behave the same. While some can be used both as independent words and as phrasal bound forms, others are always bound at the phrasal level. Nonetheless, there are two characteristics that are shared by all disyllabic localizers: they are all nominal, and they are all bound when occurring at the end of a phrase. The best way to characterize the entire class of disyllabic localizers is that they are nominal phrasal bound forms with some of them also functioning as nouns in certain environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-39
Number of pages39
JournalJournal of Chinese Linguistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Bound vs. free
  • Disyllabic localizer
  • Locative
  • Phrasal bound form

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Linguistics and Language


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