Book Chapter

Beyond the classifier/gender dichotomy: The role of flexibility in a more integrated typology of nominal classification

R Singer

Non-Canonical Gender Systems | Oxford University Press | Published : 2018


The entrenched nature of the gender/classifier dichotomy stands in the way of better typologies of nominal classification. How can we move beyond it to a more integrated view of nominal classification? Looking at a range of kinds of data from the Australian language Mawng, it is clear that our understanding of many less well-known nominal classification systems reflects a lack of data on how the system is used. Mawng has what seems like a well-behaved system of five genders, including gender agreement in the verb. However, the genders, like classifiers, play a crucial role in constructing meaning in discourse, often in the absence of nouns. Nominal classification systems must be contextualiz..

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University of Melbourne Researchers