The linguistic categorization of spatial entities

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This chapter focuses on the classifier systems found around the world, with particular attention to Amerindian languages. It first proposes a typology of these systems that takes into account their different characteristics (morpho-syntactic, semantic, pragmatic. . .) and their dynamic dimensions (grammaticalization, age, productivity. . .). It then describes in more detail a sample of classifier systems (fromAmerica, Asia, Oceania. . .), shows some of their invariants and specificities, and relates them to other linguistic systems. The final part of the chapter presents a summary of the types of information that are conveyed by classifier systems and other nominal classification systems about spatial entities (e.g., spatial properties, perceptual modalities. . .) and examines, as well, the different encoding strategies that seem to be used across languages.


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