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Encyclopedia > Noun class

In linguistics, the term noun class refers to a system of categorizing nouns. A noun may belong to a given class because of characteristic features of its referent, such as sex, animacy, shape, but counting a given noun among nouns of such or another class is often clearly conventional. In general, a reference is something that refers or points to something else, or acts as a connection or a link between two things. ...


Some authors use the term "grammatical gender" as a synonym of "noun class", but others use different definitions for each. See below. It has been suggested that natural gender be merged into this article or section. ...


Noun classes should not be confused with noun classifiers. A classifier, in linguistics, is a word or morpheme used in some languages in certain contexts to indicate the word class of a noun. ...

Contents

The notion of the noun class

In general, there are three main ways by which natural languages categorize nouns into noun classes:

  • according to logical or symbolic similarities in their meaning (semantic criterium),
  • by grouping them with other nouns that have similar form (morphology), or
  • through an arbitrary convention.

Usually, a combination of the three types of criteria is used, though one is more prevalent.


Noun classes form a system of grammatical agreement. The fact that a noun belongs to a given class may imply the presence of: In languages, agreement is a form of cross-reference between different parts of a sentence or phrase. ...

  • agreement affixes on adjectives, pronouns, numerals etc. which are noun phrase constituents,
  • agreement affixes on the verb,
  • a special form of a pronoun which replaces the noun,
  • an affix on the noun,
  • a class-specific word in the noun phrase (or in some types of noun phrases).

In English, noun classes are expressed on nouns and pronouns alone. An example are the English words actor and actress, where the suffix -or denotes a male person or a person of unknown sex, and the suffix -ress (derived from French -rice) denotes a female person. This type of noun affixation is not very frequent in English, but quite common in languages which have the true grammatical gender, including most of the Indo-European family, to which English belongs. Modern English expresses noun classes through the third person singular personal pronouns he (male person), she (female person), and it (object, abstraction, or animal), and their other inflected forms. Also the choice between the relative pronoun who (persons) and which (non-persons) may be considering a way of categorizing nouns into noun classes. A noun, or noun substantive, is a word or phrase that refers to a person, place, thing, event, substance or quality. ... In linguistics and grammar, a pronoun is a word that usually takes the place of a noun or noun phrase that was previously mentioned (such as she, it) or that refers to something or someone (I, me, you). Pronouns are often one of the basic parts of speech of the... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... It has been suggested that natural gender be merged into this article or section. ... The Indo-European languages comprise a family of several hundred languages and dialects [1], including most of the major languages of Europe, as well as many in Southwest Asia, Central Asia and South Asia. ...


When noun class is expressed on other parts of speech, besides nouns and pronouns, the language is said to have grammatical gender. In grammar, a part of speech or word class is defined as the role that a word (or sometimes a phrase) plays in a sentence. ...


In languages without inflectional noun classes, nouns may still be extensively categorized by independent particles called noun classifiers. A classifier, in linguistics, is a word or morpheme used in some languages in certain contexts to indicate the word class of a noun. ...


Common types of criteria for defining noun classes

Common criteria for defining noun classes include:

  • animate vs. inanimate (as in Ojibwe)
  • rational vs. non-rational (as in Tamil)
  • human vs. non-human
  • male vs. other
  • male human vs. other
  • masculine vs. feminine
  • masculine vs. feminine vs. neuter
  • strong vs. weak
  • augmentative vs. diminutive

A more or less discernible correlation between noun class and the shape of the respective object is found in some languages, even in the Indo-European family. Animacy is a grammatical category, usually of nouns, which influences the form a verb takes when it is associated with that noun. ... Ojibwe, Ojibwa, Chippewa or Anishinaabemowin in Eastern Ojibwe syllabics) is the third most commonly spoken Native language in Canada (after Cree and Inuktitut), and the fourth most spoken in North America (behind Navajo, Cree, and Inuktitut). ... Tamil (தமிழ் ) is a classical language and one of the major languages of the Dravidian language family. ...


Some linguists think the Nostratic language, a hypothesized ancestor of Indo-European and other language families, had the noun classes "human", "animal", and "object".[citation needed] Nostratic is a highly controversial language super-family that putatively links many Eurasian language families. ... The Indo-European languages comprise a family of several hundred languages and dialects [1], including most of the major languages of Europe, as well as many in Southwest Asia, Central Asia and South Asia. ...


Noun classes in specific linguistic families

Algonquian languages

The Ojibwe language and other members of the Algonquian languages distinguish between animate and inanimate classes. Some sources argue that the distinction is between things which are powerful and things which are not. All living things, as well as sacred things and things connected to the Earth are considered powerful and belong to the animate class. Still, the assignment is somewhat arbitrary, as "raspberry" is animate, but "strawberry" is inanimate. Pre-contact distribution of Algonquian languages The Algonquian (also Algonkian) languages are a subfamily of Native American languages that includes most of the languages in the Algic language family (the two Algic languages that are not Algonquian are Wiyot and Yurok of northwestern California). ... Ojibwe, Ojibwa, Chippewa or Anishinaabemowin in Eastern Ojibwe syllabics) is the third most commonly spoken Native language in Canada (after Cree and Inuktitut), and the fourth most spoken in North America (behind Navajo, Cree, and Inuktitut). ... Pre-contact distribution of Algonquian languages The Algonquian (also Algonkian) languages are a subfamily of Native American languages that includes most of the languages in the Algic language family (the two Algic languages that are not Algonquian are Wiyot and Yurok of northwestern California). ... Binomial name Rubus idaeus L. The Raspberry or Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) is a plant that produces a tart, sweet, red composite fruit in summer or early autumn. ... Species 20+ species; see text This article is about the strawberry plant. ...


Athabaskan languages

In Navajo (Southern Athabaskan) nouns are classified according to their animacy, shape, and consistency. Morphologically, however, the distinctions are not expressed on the nouns themselves, but on the verbs of which the nouns are the subject or direct object. For example, in the sentence Shi’éé’ tsásk’eh bikáa’gi dah siłtsooz "My shirt is lying on the bed", the verb siłtsooz "lies" is used because the subject shi’éé’ "my shirt" is a flat, flexible object. In the sentence Siziiz tsásk’eh bikáa’gi dah silá "My belt is lying on the bed", the verb silá "lies" is used because the subject siziiz "my belt" is a slender, flexible object. See Navajo language: Classificatory Verbs for more discussion. Athabaskan or Athabascan (also Athapascan or Athapaskan) is the name of a large group of distantly related Native American peoples, also known as the Athabasca Indians or Athapaskes, and of their language family. ... Reading Adahooniigii — The Navajo Language Monthly Navajo or Navaho (native name: Diné bizaad) is an Athabaskan language (of Na-Dené stock) spoken in the southwest United States by the Navajo people (Diné). It is geographically and linguistically one of the Southern Athabaskan languages (the majority of Athabaskan languages are spoken... Southern Athabaskan languages Southern Athabaskan (also Apachean) is a subfamily of Athabaskan languages spoken in the North American Southwest. ... Morphology is a subdiscipline of linguistics that studies word structure. ... Reading Adahooniigii — The Navajo Language Monthly Navajo or Navaho (native name: Diné bizaad) is an Athabaskan language (of Na-Dené stock) spoken in the southwest United States by the Navajo people (Diné). It is geographically and linguistically one of the Southern Athabaskan languages (the majority of Athabaskan languages are spoken...


Koyukon (Northern Athabaskan) has a more intricate system of classification. Like Navajo, it has classificatory verb stems that classify nouns according to animacy, shape, and consistency. However, in addition to these verb stems, Koyukon verbs have what are called gender prefixes that further classify nouns. That is, Koyukon has two different systems that classify nouns: (a) a classificatory verb system and (b) a gender system. To illustrate, the verb stem -tonh is used for enclosed objects. When -tonh is combined with different gender prefixes, it can result in daaltonh which refers to objects enclosed in boxes or etltonh which refers to objects enclosed in bags. The Koyukon are a group of Athabaskan people living in northern Alaska. ... Northern Athabaskan is an geographic sub-grouping of the Athabaskan language family spoken in the northern part of North America, particularly in Alaska and the Yukon. ...


Australian Aboriginal languages

The Dyirbal language is well known for its system of four noun classes, which tend to be divided along the following semantic lines: The Australian Aboriginal languages comprise several language families and isolates native to Australia and a few nearby islands, but by convention excluding Tasmania. ... Dyirbal (also Djirubal) is an ergative Australian Aboriginal language spoken in northeast Queensland by about 5 speakers. ...

  • I — animate objects, men
  • II — women, water, fire, violence
  • III — edible fruit and vegetables
  • IV — miscellaneous (includes things not classifiable in the first three)

The class usually labeled "feminine", for instance, includes the word for fire and nouns relating to fire, as well as all dangerous creatures and phenomena. This inspired the title of the George Lakoff book Women, Fire and Dangerous Things (ISBN 0-226-46804-6). Water is a tasteless, odourless substance that is essential to all known forms of life and is known as the universal solvent. ... A large bonfire. ... Violence is any act of aggression and abuse which causes or intends to cause injury, in some cases criminal, or harm to persons, and (to a lesser extent) animals or property. ... Fruit stall in Barcelona, Spain. ... Vegetables in a Market Venn diagram representing the relationship between (botanical) fruits and vegetables. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


The Ngangikurrunggurr language has noun classes reserved for canines, and hunting weapons, and the Anindilyakwa language has a noun class for things that reflect light. The Diyari language distinguishes only between female and other objects. Perhaps the most noun classes in any Australian language are found in Yanyuwa, which has 16 noun classes. The Ngangikurrunggurr is a tribe of people famous for their weaving who live in a small community called Peppimenarti, Northern Territory, Australia. ... Enindhilyagwa (several other names; see below) is an Australian language isolate spoken by the Warnindhilyagwa people on Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Australia. ... Diyari or Dieri is an extinct Australian Aboriginal language of South Australia. ... The Yanyuwa language is spoken by the people of the same name around the settlement of Borroloola (Yanyuwa burrulula) in the Northern Territory, Australia. ...


Caucasian languages

Of the Caucasian languages, some members of the Northwest Caucasian family, and almost all of the Northeast Caucasian languages, manifest noun class. In the Northeast Caucasian family, only Lezgi, Udi, and Aghul do not have noun classes. Some languages have only two classes, while the Bats language has eight. The most widespread system, however, has four classes: male, female, animate beings and certain objects, and finally a class for the remaining nouns. The Andi language has a noun class reserved for insects. The term Caucasian languages is loosely used to refer to a large and extremely varied array of languages spoken by more than 7 million people in the Caucasus region of Eastern Europe, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. ... The term Caucasian languages is loosely used to refer to a large and extremely varied array of languages spoken by more than 7 million people in the Caucasus region of Eastern Europe, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. ... The Northwest Caucasian languages, also called Pontic or Abkhaz-Adyg/Circassian, are a group of languages spoken in Caucasian Russia, Turkey, Jordan, Kabardino-Balkaria (an autonomous republic in Russia) and Abkhazia ( de facto independent formally an autonomous republic in Georgia). ... The Northeast Caucasian languages, also called East Caucasian, Caspian, Nakh-Dagestanian, or Dagestanian, are a family of languages spoken mostly in the Dagestan, Chechnya, and Ingushetia regions of Russia, in Northern Azerbaijan, and in Georgia. ... Lezgi, also called Lezgian, is a language spoken by the Lezgi who live in southern Dagestan (a republic of Russia) and northern Azerbaijan. ... The Udi language is a member of the Northeast Caucasian language family. ... **Used Lezgi language page as a template, working on replacing information** Aghul, also called Agul, is a language spoken by the Aguls who live in southern Dagestan (a republic of Russia) and Azerbaijan. ... Bats (also Batsi, Batsbi, Batsb or Batsaw) is the language of the Bats people, a Caucasian minority group, and is part of the Nakh family of Caucasian languages. ...


Among Northwest Caucasian languages, Abkhaz shows a human male/human female/non-human distinction. Ubykh shows some inflections along the same lines, but only in some instances, and in some of these instances inflection for noun class is not even obligatory. Abkhaz is a Northwest Caucasian language spoken in Georgia and Turkey. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ...


In all Caucasian languages that manifest class, it is not marked on the noun itself but on the dependent verbs, adjectives, pronouns and prepositions.


An entire website has been devoted to exploring the possibilities of inanimate genders in Caucasian languages.


Niger-Congo languages

Niger-Congo languages can have ten or more noun classes, defined according to non-sexual criteria. Certain nominal classes are reserved for humans. The Fula language has a noun class reserved for liquids. According to Steven Pinker, the Kivunjo language has 16 noun classes including classes for precise locations and for general locales, classes for clusters or pairs of objects and classes for the objects that come in pairs or clusters, and classes for abstract qualities. Map showing the distribution of Niger-Congo languages The Niger-Congo languages constitute one of the worlds major language families, and Africas largest in terms of geographical area, number of speakers, and number of distinct languages. ... Map showing the distribution of Niger-Congo languages The Niger-Congo languages constitute one of the worlds major language families, and Africas largest in terms of geographical area, number of speakers, and number of distinct languages. ... The Fula language is a language of West Africa, spoken by the Fula people from Senegal to Cameroon and Sudan. ... Steven Pinker Steven Arthur Pinker (born September 18, 1954, in Montreal, Canada) is a prominent American experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, and popular science writer known for his spirited and wide-ranging defence of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind. ... Kivunjo (also Vunjo) is a Bantu language of Tanzania, spoken by approximately 300,000 people (1992 UBS). ...


Bantu languages

According to Carl Meinhof, the Bantu languages have a total of 22 noun classes called nominal classes (this notion was introduced by W.H.J.Bleek). While no single language is known to express all of them, all of them have at least 10 noun classes. For example, by Meinhof's numbering, Swahili has 15 classes, and Sesotho has 18. Map showing the approximate distribution of Bantu (dull yellow) vs. ... Carl Friedrich Michael Meinhof (July 23, 1857_February 11, 1944) was a German linguist. ... Map showing the approximate distribution of Bantu (dull yellow) vs. ... This article is about the language. ... Sesotho is a language spoken in southern Africa. ...


Specialists in Bantu emphasize that there is a clear difference between genders (such as known from Afro-Asiatic and Indo-European) and nominal classes (such as known from Niger-Congo). Languages with nominal classes divide nouns formally on the base of hyperonomic meanings. The category of nominal class replaces not only the category of gender, but also the categories of number and case. A number is an abstract entity that represents a count or measurement. ... Categories: Stub | Software engineering | Data management ...


Critics of the Meinhof's approach notice that his numbering system of nominal classes counts singular and plural numbers of the same noun as belonging to separate classes (see Sesotho language for examples). This seems to them to be inconsistent with the way other languages are traditionally considered, where number is orthogonal to gender (according to the critics, a Meinhof-style analysis would give Ancient Greek 9 genders!). If one follows broader linguistic tradition and counts singular and plural as belonging to the same class, then Swahili has 8 or 9 noun classes and Sesotho has 11. Sesotho is a language spoken in southern Africa. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ...


This critique does not seem to be well-founded, though[citation needed], and the Meinhof's numbering is obligatorily applied in all scientific works. There are no, or very little, facts which would allow us to speak about the category of number in Bantu, and "singular" and "plural" classes are not paired strictly. For instance, in Swahili the word rafiki ‘friend’ belongs to the class 9 and its "plural form" is marafiki of the class 6, even if most nouns of the 9 class have the plural of the class 10. Which is more, the difference between mtoto (‘child’, class 1) and watoto (‘children’, class 2) does not seem to be more than between mtoto and kitoto (‘little child’, class 7). Both the making of the plural and the diminutive require a class change. Adding the locative suffix -ni also requires a class change: nyumba yangu nzuri means ‘my pretty house’ (cl. 9) while nyumbani mwangu mzuri means ‘in my pretty house’ (cl. 18). Swahili (also called Kiswahili; see Kiswahili for a discussion of the nomenclature) is an agglutinative Bantu language widely spoken in East Africa. ... Look up Plural in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Plural is a grammatical number, typically referring to more than one of the referent in the real world. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


Here is a complete list of nominal classes in Swahili:

Class number Prefix Typical meaning
1 m-, mw-, mu- singular: persons
2 wa-, w- plural: persons (a plural counterpart of class 1)
3 m-, mw-, mu- singular: plants
4 mi-, my- plural: plants (a plural counterpart of class 3)
5 ji-, j-, 0- singular: fruits
6 ma-, m- plural: fruits (a plural counterpart of class 5, 9, 11, seldom 1)
7 ki-, ch- singular: things
8 vi-, vy- plural: things (a plural counterpart of class 7)
9 n-, ny-, m-, 0- singular: animals, things
10 n-, ny-, m-, 0- plural: animals, things (a plural counterpart of class 9 and 11)
11 u-, w-, uw- singular: no clear semantics
15 ku-, kw- verbal nouns
16 pa- locative meanings: close to something
17 ku- indefinite locative or directive meaning
18 mu-, m- locative meanings: inside something

0- means no prefixes, note also that some classes are homonymic (esp. 9 and 10). The Proto-Bantu class 12 disappeared in Swahili, class 13 merged with 7, and 14 with 11.


Class prefixes appear also on adjectives and verbs, e.g.:

Kitabu kikubwa kinaanguka. (cl.7-book cl.7-big cl.7-PRESENT-fall)
‘The big book falls.’

The class markers which appear on the adjectives and verbs may differ from the noun prefixes: In linguistics, a marker is a free or bound morpheme that indicates the grammatical function of the marked word or sentence. ...

Mtoto wangu alikinunua kitabu. (cl.1-child cl.1-my cl.1-PAST-cl.7-buy cl.7-book)
‘My child bought a book.’

In this example, the verbal prefix a- and the pronominal prefix wa- are in concordance with the noun prefix m-: they all express class 1 despite of their different forms.


Zande

The Zande language distinguishes four noun classes: Zande is an Adamawa-Ubangi language spoken by the Azande, primarily in the north of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and southwestern Sudan, but also in the Central African Republic. ...

Criterion Example Translation
human (male) kumba man
human (female) dia wife
animate nya beast
other bambu house

There are about 80 inanimate nouns which are in the animate class, including nouns denoting heavenly objects (moon, rainbow), metal objects (hammer, ring), edible plants (sweet potato, pea), and non-metallic objects (whistle, ball). Many of the exceptions have a round shape, and some can be explained by the role they play in Zande mythology.


Grammatical genders versus Noun classes

Main article: Grammatical gender

The term gender refers to a noun class system composed with 2, 3, or 4 classes. Genders are a special instance of noun classes. It has been suggested that natural gender be merged into this article or section. ... The word gender describes the state of being male, female, or neither. ...


In languages with genders, the gender is a selective category for noun. It means that all nouns must be assigned to a gender, and thus all nouns may be divided into groups, considering their gender. The word "gender" derives from Latin genus, which is also the root of genre, and originally meant "kind", so it does not necessarily have a sexual meaning. For instance, the Polish word ręcznik ‘towel’ is of masculine gender, encyklopedia ‘encyclopaedia’ is of feminine gender, and krzesło ‘chair’ is of neuter gender.


A language has grammatical gender when changes in the gender of a noun necessarily induce morphological changes in adjectives and other parts of speech (such as verbs) that refer to that noun. For adjective and some other inflecting words, gender is an inflected category. It means that (in languages with genders) adjectives are inflected by genders, or change their forms depending on gender of the noun to which they refer. In yet other words, when a noun belongs to a certain gender, other parts of speech that refer to that noun have to be inflected to be in the same class. These obligatory changes are called gender agreement. A noun, or noun substantive, is a part of speech which can co-occur with (in)definite articles and attributive adjectives, and function as the head of a noun phrase. ... Morphology is a subdiscipline of linguistics that studies word structure. ... An adjective is a part of speech which modifies a noun, usually describing it or making its meaning more specific. ... In grammar, a part of speech or word class is defined as the role that a word (or sometimes a phrase) plays in a sentence. ... A verb is a part of speech that usually denotes action (bring, read), occurrence (to decompose (itself), to glitter), or a state of being (exist, live, soak, stand). Depending on the language, a verb may vary in form according to many factors, possibly including its tense, aspect, mood and voice. ... In grammar, inflection or inflexion is the modification or marking of a word (or more precisely lexeme) to reflect grammatical (that is, relational) information, such as gender, tense, number or person. ... In languages, agreement is a form of cross-reference between different parts of a sentence or phrase. ...


In Polish, the adjective which means ‘big, large’ has three forms (in nominative singular), one for masculine, one for feminine, and one for neuter gender: duży ręcznik ‘big towel’, duża encyklopedia ‘big encyclopaedia’, duże krzesło ‘big chair’. The nominative case is a grammatical case for a noun. ... The word singular may refer to one of several concepts. ...


List of languages by type of noun classification

Languages with noun classes or grammatical genders

Languages with noun classes

  • Klingon (being capable of speaking, body part and other)
  • Swahili
  • Zulu
  • Dyirbal
  • Bats
  • all Bantu languages
  • some Slavic languages, including Russian and Czech, make certain grammatical distinctions between animate and inanimate nouns (in Czech only in the masculine gender; in Russian only in masculine singular, but in the plural in all genders).
  • Polish distinguishes five genders:
  1. masculine nouns for male humans (with a special nominative plural that is different from all other classes, and with acc. pl. = gen. pl.)
  2. animate masculine nouns (with acc. sg. = gen. sg.)
  3. inanimate masculine nouns (with acc. sg. = nom. sg.)
  4. feminine nouns
  5. neuter nouns

There are also approaches to distinguish only three genders, see Polish for more details. The Klingon language or Klingonese (tlhIngan Hol in Klingon) is the constructed language spoken by Klingons in the fictional Star Trek universe. ... This article is about the language. ... Zulu (isiZulu in Zulu), is a language of the Zulu people with about 10 million speakers, the vast majority (over 95%) of whom live in South Africa. ... Dyirbal (also Djirubal) is an ergative Australian Aboriginal language spoken in northeast Queensland by about 5 speakers. ... Bats (also Batsi, Batsbi, Batsb or Batsaw) is the language of the Bats people, a Caucasian minority group, and is part of the Nakh family of Caucasian languages. ... Bantu is a language family that belongs to the Niger-Congo group. ... The Slavic languages (also called Slavonic languages) comprise the languages of the Slavic peoples. ...

Languages with grammatical genders

See Grammatical gender: languages with grammatical gender. It has been suggested that natural gender be merged into this article or section. ...

Languages without noun classes or grammatical genders

Afrikaans is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in South Africa and Namibia. ... Note: This page contains phonetic information presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) using Unicode. ... Basque (in Basque: Euskara) is the language spoken by the Basque people who inhabit the Pyrenees in North-Central Spain and the adjoining region of South-Western France. ... Bangla (বাংলা, IPA: ) or Bengali is an Indo-Aryan language of East South Asia, evolved from Sanskrit and Prakrit. ... Bislama is a Melanesian creole language, one of the official languages of Vanuatu. ... Cebuano, also known as Sugboanon, is an Austronesian language spoken in the Philippines by about 20,000,000 (ethnologue) people and is a subgroup or member of Bisaya, Visayan and Binisayâ. The name came from the Philippine island of Cebu, with the Spanish suffix -ano meaning native, of a place... Chol is a Maya language used by Chol ethnic group in Mexico especially Chiapas. ... Esperanto flag Esperanto is a constructed international auxiliary language. ... Guaraní (local name: avañeẽ ) is an Amerindian language of South America that belongs to the Tupí-Guaraní subfamily. ... The Hawaiian language is an Austronesian language that takes its name from that of the largest island in the tropical North Pacific archipelago where it developed. ... Wikipedia articles written in this language are located at the Ido Wikipedia Ido is a reformed version of the planned language Esperanto. ... Ilocano, also Iloko and Ilokano, refers to the language and culture associated with the Ilocano people, the third largest ethnic group in the Philippines. ... Wikipedia articles written in this language are located at the Interlingua Wikipedia The international auxiliary language Interlingua is a constructed language based on words that are common to the major West-European languages and on simplified Anglo-Romance grammar. ... Kannada (ಕನ್ನಡ ) is one of the major Dravidian languages of southern India and one of the oldest languages in India. ... Khmer (ភាសាខ្មែរ) is one of the main Austroasiatic languages. ... Wikipedia articles written in this language are located at the Lojban Wikipedia Lojban logo The artificial language Lojban (IPA [ˈloʒban], official full name Lojban: a realization of Loglan) was created by the Logical Language Group in 1987 based on the earlier Loglan, with the intent to make... // Headline text Bold text Not to be confused with the Malayalam language, spoken in India. ... Malayalam (മലയാളം ) is the language spoken predominantly in the state of Kerala, in southern India. ... Makasar (previously spelled Makassar or Macassar) is both a language and a writing system used by the people in South Sulawesi island (Celebes) in Indonesia. ... Papiamento or Papiamentu is the primary language spoken on the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao (the so-called ABC islands). ... Persian, (local name: FārsÄ« or PārsÄ«), is an Indo-European language spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and by minorities in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Southern Russia, neighboring countries, and elsewhere. ... Nahuatl ( [1] is a term applied to a group of related languages and dialects of the Aztecan [2] branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family, indigenous to central Mexico. ... The Pirahã language is a language spoken by Pirahã people of Brazil. ... Quechua (Runa Simi in Quechua; Runa, human + Simi, speech, literally mouth; i. ... Quenya is one of the languages spoken by the Elves in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. ... Sindarin is an artificial language (or conlang) developed by J. R. R. Tolkien. ... a resource to look at current viewpoints Categories: Indo-Aryan languages | Languages of Sri Lanka | Wikipedia cleanup | Language stubs ... Sami is a general name for a group of Uralic languages spoken in parts of northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and extreme northwestern Russia, in Northern Europe. ... Tagalog (pronunciation: ) is one of the major languages of the Republic of the Philippines. ... The Tlingit (Lingít) language is the language of the Tlingit people of Southeast Alaska and Western Canada. ... Tok Pisin (tok means word or speech, pisin means pidgin) is the creole spoken in Papua New Guinea (PNG). ... Toki Pona is a constructed language designed by Canadian translator and linguist Sonja Elen Kisa. ... Telegu ( ತುಳು ) is a Dravidian language of India with fewer than two million speakers. ... Tzotzil is a Mayan language spoken in Chiapas, Mexico. ... Tzeltal is a Maya language spoken in Chiapas, Mexico. ... Yoruba (native name ede Yorùbá, the Yoruba language) is a dialect continuum of West Africa with over 22 million speakers. ...

Bibliography

  • Craig, Colette G. (1986). Noun classes and categorization: Proceedings of a symposium on categorization and noun classification, Eugene, Oregon, October 1983. Amsterdam: J. Benjamins.
  • Corbett, Greville G. (1991) Gender, Cambridge University Press —A comprehensive study; looks at 200 languages.
  • Corbett, Geville (1994) "Gender and gender systems". En R. Asher (ed.) The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, Oxford: Pergamon Press, pp. 1347--1353.
  • Greenberg, J. H. (1978) "How does a language acquire gender markers?". En J. H. Greenberg et al. (eds.) Universals of Human Language, Vol. 4, pp. 47--82.
  • Hockett, Charles F. (1958) A Course in Modern Linguistics, Macmillan.
  • Ibrahim, M. (1973) Grammatical gender. Its origin and development. La Haya: Mouton.
  • Iturrioz, J. L. (1986) "Structure, meaning and function: a functional analysis of gender and other classificatory techniques". Función 1. 1-3.
  • Meissner, Antje & Anne Storch (eds.) (2000) Nominal classification in African languages, Institut für Afrikanische Sprachwissenschaften, Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag. ISBN 3-89645-014-X.
  • Ohly, R., Kraska-Szlenk, i., Podobińska, Z. (1998) Język suahili. Wydawnictwo Akademickie "Dialog". Warszawa. ISBN 83-86483-87-3
  • Pinker, Steven (1994) The Language Instinct, William Morrow and Company.
  • Мячина, Е.Н. (1987) Краткий грамматический очерк языка суахили. In: Суахили-русский словарь. Kamusi ya Kiswahili-Kirusi. Москва. "Русский Язык".

Steven Pinker Steven Arthur Pinker (born September 18, 1954, in Montreal, Canada) is a prominent American experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, and popular science writer known for his spirited and wide-ranging defence of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind. ... The Language Instinct is a book by Steven Pinker, published in 1995, in which he argues the case for the belief that humans are born with an innate capacity for language. ...

Other references

See also

A classifier, in linguistics, is a word or morpheme used in some languages in certain contexts to indicate the word class of a noun. ... It has been suggested that natural gender be merged into this article or section. ... In languages, agreement is a form of cross-reference between different parts of a sentence or phrase. ... In linguistics, the term grammatical number refers to ways of expressing quantity by inflecting words. ... A grammatical category is a general term. ... In linguistics, declension is a paradigm of inflected nouns and adjectives. ... In grammar, inflection or inflexion is the modification or marking of a word (or more precisely lexeme) to reflect grammatical (that is, relational) information, such as gender, tense, number or person. ... In language, redundancy often takes the form of phrases which repeat a concept with a different word. ... A synthetic language, in linguistic typology, is a language with a high morpheme-to-word ratio. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
NOUN CLASSES - KISWAHILI GRAMMAR NOTES (0 words)
Class 1 and 2 with the Adjectival Prefix:
Class 5 and 6 with the Adjectival Prefix
Classes 9 - 10 with the Adjectival Prefixes
What is a noun class? (443 words)
A noun class system is a grammatical system that some languages use to overtly categorize nouns.
Expression of the noun class is obligatory in all contexts.
Class may be marked on the noun itself, but will also always be marked on other constituents in the noun phrase or in the sentence that show concord (agreement) with the noun.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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