Ideal in introductory courses dealing with grammatical structure and linguistic analysis, Introduction to Typology overviews the major grammatical categories and constructions in the world's languages. Framed in a typological perspective, the constant concern of this primary text is to underscore the similarities and differences which underlie the vast array of human languages.

Animacy, Definiteness, and Gender

Animacy, definiteness, and gender

In Chapter 9, it was noted that although the marking of grammatical relations is a central function of case, word order, and agreement, this is not the only type of information that they are utilized to depict. In many languages, morphology and syntax can also be exploited to underscore the degree of animacy, the definiteness, the person (first, second, or third), or the gender of noun phrases.1 This, for example, is true of Mixe (Penutian: Mexico):

At first glance, the data in (1) and (2) appear to exhibit a pattern of verb agreement that is somewhat arbitrary, particularly if one expects to find agreement based on notions such as subject and object. If we focus solely on the ...

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