Verb classifiers in East Asia

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

2 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations

Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-296
Journal / PublicationFunctions of Language
Volume21
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

Abstract

Many linguists define classification systems in terms of semantic profiling. The classifier profiles a semantic trait common to all the classified items. This paper rejects semantic profiling in favor of a combinatorial definition of classification and evaluates verb classification in five languages of the Sinitic, Tai-Kadai, Miao-Yao and Tibeto-Burman families. Only sortal verb classifiers in Sinitic, Tai-Kadai, Miao-Yao (not Tibeto-Burman) are classificatory in the combinatorial sense. Sortal verb classifiers stand for a lexical classification technique in which the classifiers are derived from adjunct noun phrases. Cross-linguistically, the technique contrasts with other techniques such as the classification of verbs by incorporated core arguments found in Native American languages. This paper also evaluates mensural verb classifiers and auto-classifiers which are generally not classificatory in the combinatorial sense.

Citation Format(s)

Verb classifiers in East Asia. / Gerner, Matthias.

In: Functions of Language, Vol. 21, No. 3, 01.2014, p. 267-296.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review