A history of its study from the classical period to the present
Marcin Kilarski | Adam Mickiewicz University
This book offers the first comprehensive survey of the study of gender and classifiers throughout the history of Western linguistics. Based on an analysis of over 200 genetically and typologically diverse languages, the author shows that these seemingly arbitrary and redundant categories play in fact a central role in the lexicon, grammar and the organization of discourse. As a result, the often contradictory approaches to their functionality and semantic motivation encapsulate the evolving conceptions of such issues as cognitive and cultural correlates of linguistic structure, the diverse functions of grammatical categories, linguistic complexity, agreement phenomena and the interplay between lexicon and grammar. The combination of a typological and historiographic perspective adopted here allows the reader to appreciate the detail and insight of earlier, supposedly ‘prescientific’ accounts in light of the data now available and to examine contemporary discussions in the context of prevailing conceptions in the study of language at different points in its history since antiquity.
[Studies in the History of the Language Sciences, 121] 2013. xiv, 405 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins
Table of Contents
Preface & Acknowledgments | pp. xi–xii
List of abbreviations | pp. xiii–xv
1.Preliminaries | pp. 1–6
2. Nominal classification systems: An overview | pp. 7–58
3. From Protagoras to the philosophical grammars | pp. 59–116
4. From the ‘Romantics’ to the Neogrammarians | pp. 117–158
5. Structuralism | pp. 159–198
6. Contemporary studies of gender/noun classes | pp. 199–272
7. Contemporary studies of classifiers | pp. 273–320
8. Final discussion | pp. 321–336
Index | pp. 381–??
Index of biographical names | pp. 381–390
Index of subjects and terms | pp. 391–400
Language index | pp. 401–406
“[A] comprehensive work; the extensive discussion makes good use of the 44 pages of references that cover more than 200 languages. In other words, the book lives up to its subtitle by presenting a history of studies of nominal classification since the classical period. [...] This is a text that will be required reading for anyone researching one or another aspect of nominal classification.”
Keith Allan, Monash University, in Historiographia Linguistica Vol. 41:2/3 (2014)
“[A] refreshing contribution to the field of nominal classification. Although framed as a historical work it also makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the typology of nominal classification [...]. In addition to the historical angle, what makes this book unique is its emphasis on the semantic motivations of categories and the functionality of nominal classification.”
Ruth Singer, University of Melbourne, in Studies in Language Vol 39:1 (2015)
Cited by 28 other publications
Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y.
Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y.
2022. Classifiers: Setting the scene. Asian Languages and Linguistics 3:2 ► pp. 141 ff.
Allassonnière-Tang, Marc & One-Soon Her
2020. Numeral base, numeral classifier, and noun. Language and Linguistics. 語言暨語言學 21:4 ► pp. 511 ff.
Chacon, Thiago Costa & Rodrigo do Prado Sateles
CORBETT, GREVILLE G. & SEBASTIAN FEDDEN
Costaouec, Denis & Michael Swanton
Erben Johansson, Niklas & Sandra Cronhamn
Frankowsky, Maximilian, Dan Ke, Pienie Zwitserlood, René Michel & Jens Bölte
Güldemann, Tom & Ines Fiedler
Her, One-Soon, Harald Hammarström & Marc Allassonnière-Tang
2014. The Place of Classifiers in the History of Linguistics. Historiographia Linguistica 41:1 ► pp. 33 ff.
2016. Gender Asymmetries in Iroquoian Languages and their Cultural Correlates. Historiographia Linguistica 43:3 ► pp. 363 ff.
2021. Erminnie A. Smith (1836–1886). Historiographia Linguistica 48:2-3 ► pp. 228 ff.
Kilarski, Marcin & Rafał Szeptyński
2022. The Place of Jakób Handel (1888–c.1942) in the History of Language Study in Poland. Historiographia Linguistica 49:1 ► pp. 71 ff.
Kuteva, Tania, Bernd Heine, Bo Hong, Haiping Long, Heiko Narrog & Seongha Rhee
Margetts, Anna, Katharina Haude, Nikolaus P. Himmelmann, Dagmar Jung, Sonja Riesberg, Stefan Schnell, Frank Seifart, Harriet Sheppard & Claudia Wegener
2022. Cross-linguistic patterns in the lexicalisation of bring and take. Studies in Language 46:4 ► pp. 934 ff.
2020. Die Capital – der Astra – das Adler. In Walking on the Grammaticalization Path of the Definite Article [Studies in Language Variation, 23], ► pp. 228 ff.
Rojas Berscia, Luis Miguel & Rita Eloranta
Rojas-Berscia, Luis Miguel
2022. Directed caused accompanied motion events in Sudest, an Oceanic language with classificatory verbs. In Caused Accompanied Motion [Typological Studies in Language, 134], ► pp. 187 ff.
Werner, Martina & Gianina Iordachioaia
2019. Chapter 6. The development of gender and countability effects in German ung- and English ing-nominals. In Historical Linguistics 2015 [Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, 348], ► pp. 116 ff.
2018. Introduction. In The Diachrony of Classification Systems [Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, 342], ► pp. 1 ff.
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This list is based on CrossRef data as of 7 may 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.
Main BIC Subject
CFK: Grammar, syntax
Main BISAC Subject
LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number: 2013036007 | Marc record