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Genders and Classifiers – A Cross-Linguistic Typology - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Genders and Classifiers: A Cross-Linguistic Typology

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and Elena I. Mihas


Every language has some means of categorizing objects into humans, or animates, or by their shape, form, size, and function. The most wide-spread 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. Genders and classifiers of varied types can occur ... More

Keywords: gender, classifier, human, animate, shape, number word, possessive classifier

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780198842019
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198842019.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, editor
Distinguished Professor and Director, Language and Culture Research Centre, James Cook University

Elena I. Mihas, editor
Visiting Scholar, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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