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Linguistic Typology

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Volume 21, Issue 2

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Single versus concurrent systems: Nominal classification in Mian

Greville G. Corbett
  • Surrey Morphology Group, Literature and Languages (I1), Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom
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/ Sebastian Fedden
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  • Institut de Linguistique et Phonétique Générales et Appliquées, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, 19 Rue des Bernardins, 75005 Paris, France
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/ Raphael Finkel
Published Online: 2017-10-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lingty-2017-0006

Abstract

The Papuan language Mian allows us to refine the typology of nominal classification. Mian has two candidate classification systems, differing completely in their formal realization but overlapping considerably in their semantics. To determine whether to analyse Mian as a single system or concurrent systems we adopt a canonical approach. Our criteria – orthogonality of the systems (we give a precise measure), semantic compositionality, morphosyntactic alignment, distribution across parts of speech, exponence, and interaction with other features – point mainly to an analysis as concurrent systems. We thus improve our analysis of Mian and make progress with the typology of nominal classification.

Keywords: agreement; Canonical Typology; classifiers; gender; inflection; inflectional categories; Mian; morphology; number

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About the article

Received: 2016-06-23

Revised: 2016-11-16

Published Online: 2017-10-13

Published in Print: 2017-10-26


Citation Information: Linguistic Typology, Volume 21, Issue 2, Pages 209–260, ISSN (Online) 1613-415X, ISSN (Print) 1430-0532, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lingty-2017-0006.

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