Chapter

The multifaceted noun

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald

in The Languages of the Amazon

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199593569
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739385 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199593569.003.0005
The multifaceted noun

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In many Amazonian languages, nouns can be synthetic, and morphologically complex. We start with a snapshot of noun structure and noun categories. We then turn to tense, and other aspects of non-spatial setting expressed on nouns. In many Amazonian languages, noun distinguish past and future. In Carib languages, past and future on nouns is associated with possession. Across most Amazonian languages, nouns can be divided into possession classes, depending on how close the possessive relationship is. Nouns fall into obligatorily possessed (typically including kinship terms and body pasrts), and optionally possessed. Some items — such as sun, moon, or a cockroach — can never occur in possessive constructions.

Keywords: nominal tense; possession; inalienability; synthetic; case

Chapter.  7406 words. 

Subjects: Historical and Diachronic Linguistics

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