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Chapter 4. Figuratively speaking – number in Kharia

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Abstract

The present study deals with number in Kharia, a South Munda language of eastern-central India. Kharia possesses three grammatical categories which may be loosely termed number &#8211; singular, dual and plural. While the singular is unmarked, the dual and plural are expressed by enclitic proforms. In addition to expressing two or more than two entities, however, these forms also fulfill a number of other, &#8220;figurative&#8221; functions such as deference, associativity and approximation, which are the main emphasis of the present discussion. Here we will make use of the concept of &#8220;<i>n</i> (+1) indexicality&#8221; (Silverstein 2003) as well as a version of the so-called &#8220;NP hierarchy&#8221; or &#8220;reference hierarchy&#8221; deriving from the original, binary feature-based version of this hierarchy in Silverstein (1976), as opposed to other versions of the hierarchy.

References

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