Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2023 William L. Ball. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license. For all other uses, please contact the copyright holder.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Linguistics Department

First Advisor

Kirby Conrod

Second Advisor

Amanda Payne


Hmong nominal classifiers are quite complex. One clear rule however is that double classifiers are not allowed. Surprisingly, then, there is a double classifier construction involving the classifier cov and underspecified nouns that appears to break these rules. The goal of this thesis is to resolve this problem, syntactically and semantically modeling Hmong classifiers along the way. After giving background on the literature on Hmong classifiers, I develop a syntactic model for Hmong classifiers based on the Minimalist Program and Distributed Morphology, and use Link’s semantic model of plurality to make sure the syntactic model works out semantically. Then I use this model to explain this double classifier construction. In particular, the classifier of the underspecified noun, and mass nouns more generally, is just a n head, meaning there is room for another classifier. Finally, I conclude with some comments on implications this theory has and potential avenues for future research.

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