How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.
This volume addresses the fundamental linguistic question of how the perceived world is expressed through systems of nominal classification. Leading scholars review the whole spectrum of nominal classification, from gender systems through to numeral classifiers, providing cutting-edge theoretical interpretations and empirical case studies across a variety of languages. The volume presents new ideas about the problems of classification and clarifies the interface between anthropological and grammatical work. It will appeal to linguists, anthropologists and psychologists alike as well as specialists in languages as diverse as Australian, Amazonian, and Mayan.