Nominal Classification: A history of its study from the classical period to the present
John Benjamins Publishing Company, Dec 18, 2013 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 405 pages
This book offers the first comprehensive survey of the study of gender and classifiers throughout the history of Western linguistics. Based on an analysis of over 200 genetically and typologically diverse languages, the author shows that these seemingly arbitrary and redundant categories play in fact a central role in the lexicon, grammar and the organization of discourse. As a result, the often contradictory approaches to their functionality and semantic motivation encapsulate the evolving conceptions of such issues as cognitive and cultural correlates of linguistic structure, the diverse functions of grammatical categories, linguistic complexity, agreement phenomena and the interplay between lexicon and grammar. The combination of a typological and historiographic perspective adopted here allows the reader to appreciate the detail and insight of earlier, supposedly prescientific accounts in light of the data now available and to examine contemporary discussions in the context of prevailing conceptions in the study of language at different points in its history since antiquity.
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According accounts of gender agreement Aikhenvald 2000a analogy anaphoric animacy Apollonius Dyscolus arbitrary argued attributed Bantu languages Brugmann Chapter clas class markers classificatory verbs classifier languages classifier systems cognitive complex conception context Contini-Morava contrast Corbett correlation criteria cultural deictic deictic classifiers discussed distinction Dyirbal English epicene example feminine gender formal function of gender gender assignment gender marking gender systems gender/noun classes German grammarians grammatical categories grammatical gender grammaticalized Grimm Grinevald human illustrated inanimate nouns Indo-European gender Indo-European languages inflection interpreted Iroquoian Iroquoian languages Jacaltec Kilarski Köpcke Latin lexical linguistic loanwords male masc masculine and feminine Miraña Modistae morphological morphosyntactic natural gender Neogrammarian neuter gender nominal classification systems noun classes noun classifiers numeral classifiers objects ofthe phonological plural polysynthetic languages prefixes pronominal pronouns redundant reference tracking referential Roethe role semantic functions semantic motivation semantic properties speakers spoken studies suffixes syntactic tion variable classification words Zubin