1

A city with a large Chinese population.

Is the word "Chinese" in question an adjective or an noun?

I ask because it helps me to decide which version is correct:

Many cities with large ethnic Chinese populations.

Many cities with large ethnically Chinese populations.

1 Answer 1

2

a city with a large Chinese population

Chinese in the above noun phrase is an adjective.

This adjective forms with others a series of cumulative adjectives, as shown below.

many cities with large ethnic Chinese populations

large ethnic Chinese in the above noun phrase are cumulative adjectives.

"Cumulative adjectives" are two or more adjectives that build on one another and together modify a noun. They're consecutive.

ThoughtCo

ethnic Chinese is more common than ethnically Chinese; hence, the following NP

many cities with large ethnic Chinese populations

is better than the other one you are also considering.

Ngram

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