Ed. by Plank, Frans
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The typology of Pamean number systems and the limits of Mesoamerica as a linguistic area
Pamean languages have been considered to be outside of the Mesoamerican linguistic area. However, the number systems of Pamean show typical Mesoamerican structures: order of constituents Multiplier-Base-Addend, and systems with bases 10 and 20. Pamean languages have a typologically unusual, but consistent base 8. The present study presents a formal characterization of Pamean number systems. The distribution and peculiarities of Pamean number systems are explained as a result of their location at the border of a major linguistic area. Northern Pame has 8 as the only productive base, whereas Central Pame and Southern Pame show a greater influence of Mesoamerican traits.
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