Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften

27.04. Afrikalinguistisches Kolloquium: Animacy-based noun classification in Central Africa (Güldemann)

“From differential grammatical treatment to gender: animacy-based noun classification in Central Africa and its typological significance” - Vortrag von Tom Güldemann (HU Berlin) im Rahmen des (digitalen) Afrikalinguistischen Kolloquiums
  • Wann 27.04.2021 von 16:15 bis 17:45
  • Wo via Zoom
  • iCal

While investigating the linguistic diversity of the Ituri rainforest in Central Africa, Schebesta (e.g., 1952) and Vorbichler (e.g., 1963) observed that several languages of this zone display grammatical traits reflecting a categorization of nouns according to a ±animate distinction. However, only few languages of the area have been described explicitly to possess an overt animacy-based gender system. Based on a wider survey of Central African languages, I show that this is because they tend to implement noun categorization grammatically in a far more extensive sphere of language structure that concerns behavioral properties of nouns. These can but need not lead eventually to full-grown gender systems. The cross-linguistic picture of noun classification in the area is thus not only relevant for African linguistics but also informs the general question of how gender systems emerge and develop.


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