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Title: Insights on the Greenberg-Sanches-Slobin Generalization: Quantitative typological data on classifiers and plural markers
Authors: 何萬順
Her, One-Soon
Tang, Marc
Contributors: 語言所
Keywords: sortal classifier;morphosyntactic plural;conditional inference tree
Date: 2018-01
Issue Date: 2019-03-12 16:42:09 (UTC+8)
Abstract: This paper offers quantitative typological data to investigate a revised version of the GreenbergSanches-Slobin generalization (GSSG), which states that a) a language does not have both sortal classifiers and morphosyntactic plural markers, and b) if a language does have both, then their use is in complementary distribution. Morphosyntactic plurals engage in grammatical agreement outside the noun phrase, while morphosemantic plurals that relate to collective and associative marking do not. A database of 400 phylogenetically and geographically weighted languages was created to test this generalization. The statistical test of conditional inference trees was applied to investigate the effect of areal, phylogenetic, and linguistic factors on the distribution of classifiers and morphosyntactic plural markers. Results show that the presence of classifiers is affected by areal affect as most classifier languages are concentrated in Asia. Yet, the rarity of languages with both features simultaneously is still statistically significant. Part (a) of the GSSG can thus been seen as a statistical universal. We then look into the few languages that do have both features and tentatively conclude that part (b) also seems to hold but further investigation into some of these languages is needed.
Relation: Folia Linguistica,
Data Type: article
Appears in Collections:[語言學研究所] 期刊論文

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