Publication
Title
Multifunctional agreement patterns in Bantu and the possibility of genderless nouns
Author
Abstract
It is generally assumed that all nouns belong to a gender in gender languages and that this constitutes a fundamental difference between gender systems and systems of noun classifiers. An analysis of gender and agreement in the Cameroonian Bantu language Eton challenges this assumption. Gender assignment cannot be predicted on semantic grounds in Eton, except for proper names and deictic kinship terms. Although these nouns trigger the same agreement pattern as nouns of gender 1, their behaviour differs too much from the other nouns for them to be analysed as gender 1 words. It is argued that they form the core of a set of genderless nouns. The agreement pattern they trigger is a multifunctional one: it marks agreement with gender 1 words and with genderless words. It will be shown that multifunctionality is a typical characteristic of agreement patterns in Bantu.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Linguistic typology. - Berlin
Publication
Berlin : 2006
ISSN
1430-0532
Volume/pages
10:2(2006), p. 183-221
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
VABB-SHW
Record
Identification
Creation 17.02.2009
Last edited 21.10.2014
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