Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies

01.06. Colloquium on African linguistics: Transnumeral nouns (Junglas)

“The semantics and morphology of transnumeral nouns within Northeastern Africa’s tripartite number marking languages” - Talk by Jan Junglas (HU Berlin, Ph.D. project) given within the digital colloquium of African linguistics and languages
  • When Jun 01, 2021 from 04:15 to 05:45 (Europe/Berlin / UTC200)
  • Where via Zoom
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So-called tripartite number marking systems can be found in a variety of language groups situated in Northeastern Africa (see Güldemann 2018: 257) and are typically characterized by their three-fold division of nominal number marking patterns. Besides two patterns with one morphologically unmarked and one marked noun form (unmarked/plurative and singulative/unmarked), there is a third pattern, which is composed of two marked noun forms (singulative/plurative). Even though the majority of nouns within tripartite number languages appears in one of these patterns, a substantial number of nouns cannot be captured by the concept of tripartite number marking as they either mark number through suppletion, or appear only in a single noun form. Standing outside a binary number opposition, the latter are dedicated to a single number feature and are therefore named transnumeral nouns. In my talk, the role of transnumeral nouns within tripartite number marking languages is presented on the basis of comparative data from eight different Northeastern African language groups analyzed as part of my dissertation project. It is shown that the occurrence of transnumeral nouns can be systematized both on a morphological and a semantic level, which is illustrated by means of a new analytical framework encompassing tripartite number marking systems in general and transnumeral noun typology in particular (Güldemann and Junglas, in prep.).

Güldemann, Tom. 2018. “Historical linguistics and genealogical language classification in Africa”. In: Güldemann, Tom (Ed.). The languages and linguistics of Africa. The World of Linguistics 11. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 58-444.

Güldemann, Tom and Jan Junglas. in prep. The four-way meaning of tripartite number: implications for a typology of number morphology.


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