Gender and its interaction with number and evaluative morphology: An intra- and intergenealogical typological survey of Africa
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
This dissertation investigates interactions between gender and number and gender and evaluative morphology in a sample of 100 African languages, and provides a method for assessing the role that these interactions play in the grammatical complexity of gender systems. The dissertation is organised around three research foci.
First, the dissertation surveys patterns of interaction between gender and number along the following dimensions: exponence, syncretism, indexation, correlations in type of marking, and gender assignment. The study provides evidence for the possibility that nominal features are organised in a relevance hierarchy. In addition, the study shows that animacy and lexical plurality play a crucial role in the distribution of special patterns of plural indexation. The study also shows that pervasive indexation systems in the language sample always involve both gender and number. Finally, the study shows how gender assignment can be used as a means for encoding variation in the countability properties of nouns and noun phrases.
Second, the dissertation surveys patterns of interaction between gender and evaluative morphology in the languages of the sample. Two types of interactions are found. The study shows that the distribution of the two types depends on three factors: the type of gender system, the number of gender distinctions and the possibility of assigning a noun to more than one gender.
Third, the dissertation investigates the role that interactions of gender and number and gender and evaluative morphology play in the absolute complexity of gender. The study proposes a metric for gender complexity and uses this metric to compute complexity scores for the languages of the sample. The results suggest that the gender systems of the language sample lean toward high complexity, that genealogically related languages have the same or similar complexity scores, and that the distribution of the outliers can often be understood as the result of language contact.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University , 2014. , 263 p.
Gender, number, evaluative morphology, interaction, grammatical complexity, Africa
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject Linguistics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106713ISBN: 978-91-7447-952-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-106713DiVA: diva2:738318
2014-09-26, hörsal 8, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10 D, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Plungian, Vladimir, Professor
Koptjevskaja Tamm, Maria, ProfessorVeselinova, Ljuba, Associate Professor