LINGUIST List 30.4521

Fri Nov 29 2019

Books: Genders and Classifiers: Aikhenvald, Mihas (eds.)

Editor for this issue: Jeremy Coburn <>

Date: 21-Nov-2019
From: Oxford University Press <>
Subject: Genders and Classifiers: Aikhenvald, Mihas (eds.)
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Title: Genders and Classifiers
Subtitle: A Cross-Linguistic Typology
Series Title: Explorations in Linguistic Typology
Published: 2019
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Book URL:

Editor: Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald
Editor: Elena I. Mihas
Hardback: ISBN: 9780198842019 Pages: 336 Price: U.S. $ 90.00

This volume offers a comprehensive account of the typology of noun classification across the world's languages. Every language has some means of categorizing objects into humans, or animates, or by their shape, form, size, and function. The most widespread are linguistic genders - grammatical classes of nouns based on core semantic properties such as sex (female and male), animacy, humanness, and also shape and size. Classifiers of several types also serve to categorize entities. Numeral classifiers occur with number words, possessive classifiers appear in the expressions of possession, and verbal classifiers are used on a verb, categorizing its argument. These varied sorts of genders and classifiers can also occur together. This volume elaborates on the expression, usage, history, and meanings of noun categorization devices, exploring their various facets across the languages of South America and Asia, which are known for the diversity of their noun categorization.

The volume begins with a typological introduction that outlines the types of noun categorization devices and their expression, scope, functions, and development, as well as sociocultural aspects of their use. The following nine chapters provide in-depth studies of genders and classifiers of different types in a range of South American and Asian languages and language families, including Arawak languages, Zamucoan, Hmong, and Japanese.

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics

Written In: English (eng)

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Page Updated: 29-Nov-2019