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Choosing the correct classifier for a compound noun [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2013-3-7 02:41:32 |Display all floors
Hello everyone!

I thought I'd post this question here rather than just ask a friend because someone else may need this information as well.

How do you determine the correct classifier/measure word (量词) for a compound noun?

For example, I work in computer security, so I need to talk about various forms of malicious software including what we call "worms", which in Chinese is 蠕虫病毒. 蠕虫 is just the animal, a worm, and 病毒 means "virus" both in the biological and computer senses. The classifier for the animal is 条 because it is something long and skinny, like a rope. The classifier for a virus is 种, but I am not sure which classifier to use with 蠕虫病毒. I would think it would be 种, because 蠕虫病毒 is a type of 病毒, but I wanted to ask a native speaker just to be sure.

Can you give a general rule for determining the correct classifier for a compound noun? It is always based on the last word?

Thanks!

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Post time 2013-3-8 09:52:35 |Display all floors

Generally, in modern Chinese languages, classifiers are used for head nouns, not modifiers.



蠕虫 is the modifier while the head noun is 病毒, so you are right to use 种 in your example above


(这电脑蠕虫病毒… or 蠕虫病毒是一常见的计算机病毒.)


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Post time 2013-3-8 21:44:49 |Display all floors
LoneAcorn Post time: 2013-3-7 20:52
Generally, in modern Chinese languages, classifiers are used for head nouns, not modifiers.

蠕虫 i ...

Thank you very much for your help. I thought that was how it works, and I appreciate your confirmation of my suspicions.

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