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Pronouns and Gender: Exploring Nominal Classification Systems in Northern New Guinea

Pronouns and Gender: Exploring Nominal Classification Systems in Northern New Guinea Pronouns and Gender: Exploring Nominal Classi²cation Systems in Northern New Guinea Mark Donohue university of sydney This article is intended not as an overview of the range of nominal classi²cation systems that can be found in the northern part of West Papua, but as a discussion of a typologically rare development of classi²cation that is found in some languages of this quarter of New Guinea. This discursion is set in a brief discussion of some of the more typical systems that are found in geographically, and genetically, divergent languages of the region. The focus of the article is the presentation of data that shows the classi²cation of the personal pronouns into different gender classes, and examines possible motivations for this unusual phenomenon. 1. NOMINAL CLASSIFICATION. The term "nominal classi²cation" is used here to designate any grammatical system within a language that functions to divide the natural world into two or more parts. In New Guinea languages that employ overt nominal classi²cation, the most common division is a two-way distinction between masculine (male, animate, long, strong, warlike, hot, bright, mobile) and feminine (female, inanimate, short, squat, weak, cold, dark, static) categories (for a discussion of these systems in New http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oceanic Linguistics University of Hawai'I Press

Pronouns and Gender: Exploring Nominal Classification Systems in Northern New Guinea

Oceanic Linguistics , Volume 39 (2) – Dec 1, 2000

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9421
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Abstract

Pronouns and Gender: Exploring Nominal Classi²cation Systems in Northern New Guinea Mark Donohue university of sydney This article is intended not as an overview of the range of nominal classi²cation systems that can be found in the northern part of West Papua, but as a discussion of a typologically rare development of classi²cation that is found in some languages of this quarter of New Guinea. This discursion is set in a brief discussion of some of the more typical systems that are found in geographically, and genetically, divergent languages of the region. The focus of the article is the presentation of data that shows the classi²cation of the personal pronouns into different gender classes, and examines possible motivations for this unusual phenomenon. 1. NOMINAL CLASSIFICATION. The term "nominal classi²cation" is used here to designate any grammatical system within a language that functions to divide the natural world into two or more parts. In New Guinea languages that employ overt nominal classi²cation, the most common division is a two-way distinction between masculine (male, animate, long, strong, warlike, hot, bright, mobile) and feminine (female, inanimate, short, squat, weak, cold, dark, static) categories (for a discussion of these systems in New

Journal

Oceanic LinguisticsUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Dec 1, 2000

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