Ed. by Plank, Frans
3 Issues per year
IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.304
CiteScore 2016: 0.53
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.629
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 1.234
Mundari, an Austroasiatic language of India (Munda family), has often been cited as an example of a language without word classes, where a single word can function as noun, verb, adjective, etc. according to the context. These claims, originating in a 1903 grammar by the missionary John Hoffmann, have recently been repeated uncritically by a number of typologists. In this article we review the evidence for word class fluidity, on the basis of a careful analysis of Hoffmann’s corpus as well as substantial new data, including a large lexical sample at two levels of detail. We argue that in fact Mundari does have clearly definable word classes, with distinct open classes of verb and noun, in addition to a closed adjective class, though there are productive possibilities for using all as predicates. Along the way, we elaborate a series of criteria that would need to be met before any language could seriously be claimed to lack a noun-verb distinction: most importantly strict compositionality, bidirectional flexibility, and exhaustiveness through the lexicon.
Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.