Volume 3, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2665-9336
  • E-ISSN: 2665-9344
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Classifiers are morphemes which occur under specifiable conditions and which categorise nominal referents in terms of their animacy, shape, and other properties. The most widely represented type is numeral classifiers, which occur next to a number word or a quantifier. Further types include noun classifiers, verbal classifiers, classifiers in possessive constructions, and deictic classifiers. One language can have more than one type of classifier. In some, the same set of classifiers occurs in several classifier contexts, corroborating the unity of the phenomenon. Classifiers categorise nouns, and have to be distinguished from verbal action markers used to categorise and count actions. Classifiers have a variety of functions, and are never semantically redundant. Classifiers mirror social attitudes and hierarchies, physical environment and means of subsistence, and are susceptible to change in language contact situations. Contributions to this issue adress the systems and the functions of numeral classifiers and also classifiers in multiple contexts across Asia and beyond, including Austronesian languages of Taiwan, a selection of Tibeto-Burman (or Trans-Himalayan) languages, Zhuang, a Tai-Kadai language, and Kazakh, a Turkic language.


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