Chapter 2. Number and noun categorisation
A combination of number marking, on the one hand, and genders, animacy and classifiers of various sorts on the other, may form the basis for semantic subcategorisation of nominal referents, in addition to further such devices. The paper investigates number as a noun categorisation device in a selection of languages in north-west Amazonia, each with a system of classifiers used in several morphosyntactic contexts. Number is shown to be prone to areal diffusion in situations of language contact.