A classifier (abbreviated clf or cl) is a word or affix that accompanies nouns and can be considered to "classify" a noun depending on the type of its referent. It is also sometimes called a measure word or counter word. Classifiers play an important role in certain languages, especially East Asian languages, including Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese. Classifiers are absent or marginal in European languages. An example of a possible classifier in English is piece in phrases like "three pieces of paper".
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