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LINGUIST List 23.450

Sun Jan 29 2012

Books: Semantics/Syntax/Typology: Mache

Editor for this issue: Danniella Hornby <daniellalinguistlist.org>


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        1.     Ulrich Lueders , Numeral Classifiers in Persian: Mache


Message 1: Numeral Classifiers in Persian: Mache
Date: 26-Jan-2012
From: Ulrich Lueders <lincom.europat-online.de>
Subject: Numeral Classifiers in Persian: Mache
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Title: Numeral Classifiers in Persian
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in Language Typology 22
Published: 2012
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
                http://www.lincom.eu

Book URL: http://lincom-shop.eu

Author: Avazeh Mache
Paperback: ISBN: 9783862882816 Pages: 223 Price: Europe EURO 65.80
Abstract:

Persian makes use of so-called numeral classifiers. This word class occurs
in a tripartite numeral classifier phrase comprised of a numeral, the classifier
and a noun. In studies of Persian grammar, neither the types nor the
characteristics of the word class have been examined. By means of a
corpus-based analysis, this study aims to describe the types of numeral
classifiers found in Persian and to compose an inventory of each type. It also
investigates the nature of the word class as well as its syntactic, semantic
and functional behavior. In providing a lucid account of the characteristics of
numeral classifiers, basic linguistic theory is applied as a theoretical
framework.

Numeral classifiers occur quite frequently in both formal and colloquial
language use. However, not every noun can be associated with a numeral
classifier. There are nouns that do not take any classifier whereas other
nouns require the use of specific classifiers when counted. Furthermore, the
usage of numeral classifiers is optional in Persian, although there are
constructions in which the use of a numeral classifier appears to be
obligatory. Moreover, the exact number of numeral classifiers in Persian is
difficult to estimate. It has been conjectured that there are anywhere between
a few dozen to one hundred such classifiers in Persian. Some of them have
very specialized uses or are archaic and only a few classifiers are regularly
used. Semantically speaking, the numeral classifiers must be seen as part of
a continuum from carrying a light semantic meaning to being highly
informative. The semantic parameters that Persian numeral classifiers cluster
around are categories such as animacy or physical properties such as shape
or function. Among other functions (for instance classification, the primary
function of classifiers), classifiers in Persian serve to mark the importance of
participants in discourse to highlight culturally valued objects or objects that
are prominent to life in the Persian community.

Linguistic Field(s): Semantics
                            Syntax
                            Typology

Subject Language(s): Persian, Iranian (pes)

Written In: English (eng)

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