Creativity in the use of gender agreement in Mawng How the discourse functions of a gender system can approach those of a classifier system
Source TitleStudies in Language
PublisherJOHN BENJAMINS PUBLISHING CO
University of Melbourne Author/sSinger, Ruth
AffiliationLanguages and Linguistics
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsSinger, R. (2010). Creativity in the use of gender agreement in Mawng How the discourse functions of a gender system can approach those of a classifier system. STUDIES IN LANGUAGE, 34 (2), pp.382-416. https://doi.org/10.1075/sl.34.2.06sin.
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The two main types of nominal classification systems in Australian languages — classifiers and genders — are usually easy to distinguish both formally and functionally. However, in the Australian language Mawng, gender agreement carries much of the burden of reference, varies depending on how an entity is construed, and contributes elements of compositional meaning to discourse, with properties usually associated with classifiers rather than genders. The way that semantically-based genders are used in Mawng suggests that we need to add how classification is used to our typologies of nominal classification systems; existing typologies consider mainly morphosyntactic and semantic properties.
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