The semantic domains of numeral classifiers in Kammu

University essay from Lunds universitet/Allmän språkvetenskap

Abstract: This thesis aims at presenting the semantic domains of the numeral classifiers in Kammu by analysing the group of nouns that each classifier can be used with. As some alternations are possible due to semantic or pragmatic reasons these must be considered as well. The work is thus descriptive, but some typological comparisons will be undertaken, mainly based on Aikhenvald's Classifiers (2000) and Adams and Conklin's work on Austro-Asiatic (1973) as well as later work by Adams (1986). The system turns out to be unexpectedly simple as regards the animate classifiers. As regards classifiers based on physical properties and function, there are problematic cases, comparable with the classifier system of any other language. The complex logic behind these semantic domains are obviously based on cognitive processes but intertwined with function, which is culture-specific.

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