Nouns: Real and Apparent Nominal Subclasses

J. Rijkhoff

in The Noun Phrase

Published in print July 2002 | ISBN: 9780198237822
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191706776 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Typology and Linguistic Theory

Nouns: Real and Apparent Nominal Subclasses

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This chapter looks at noun class and gender systems that are somehow relevant for the proper expression (morphology, syntax, phonology) of noun phrases (NPs) and sentences. The reflection of real and apparent nominal subclasses outside or inside the noun phrase is discussed, along with certain correlations between nouns or referents of NPs on the one hand and constituents outside the NP such as relators (adpositions, case affixes) and the main predicate on the other. Examples are given to show how noun class determines the form of a constituent. Examples from MalakMalak (Australian) illustrate that noun class can also determine the order of constituents. In this language, inalienable nouns (that is, nouns which always require reference to a possessing entity) must follow, whereas alienably possessed nouns must precede, the possessor noun.

Keywords: noun phrase; nominal subclasses; MalakMalak; referents; predicate; noun class; inalienable nouns; possessor noun; relators

Chapter.  15957 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Semantics

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