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Genders and ClassifiersA Cross-Linguistic Typology$
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Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and Elena I. Mihas

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198842019

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198842019.001.0001

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Classifiers in Shiwilu (Kawapanan)

Classifiers in Shiwilu (Kawapanan)

Exploring typologically salient properties

(p.67) 3 Classifiers in Shiwilu (Kawapanan)
Genders and Classifiers

Pilar M. Valenzuela

Oxford University Press

Shiwilu (or Jebero), a Kawapanan language from Peruvian Amazonia, features a closed set of over twenty classifiers. These are bound roots that attach to the right of their host. They resemble conventional classifiers in terms of the meaning properties they convey and their high degree of semantic transparency (Aikhenvald 2000). Shiwilu establishes a first distinction between animate and inanimate classifiers; the former divide into female and male natural gender, whereas the latter are structured according to salient dimensionality, constitution, function, and arrangement. An account of the Shiwilu nominal classifying system is provided in Valenzuela (2016a). This chapter delves into a few cross-linguistically unusual properties that may enrich the typological knowledge of noun categorization devices; namely, the ability of Shiwilu classifiers to appear in a remarkable number of morphosyntactic environments, undergo productive reduplication, and realize various syntactic functions when incorporated into the verb. The chapter also explores the text frequency of classifier morphemes.

Keywords:   Shiwilu, Jebero, Kawapanan, classifier frequency, animacy, gender

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