Chapter

Non‐verbal periphrasis?

John M. Anderson

in The Substance of Language Volume II

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199608324
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732041 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608324.003.0007
Non‐verbal periphrasis?

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This chapter concludes that we lack evidence for non‐verbal grammatical periphrasis. There are no plausible adjectival features that are candidates for participation in periphrasis. The only candidate as far as nouns are concerned is gender. The deployment of classifiers in many nominal systems looks promising, as the periphrastic equivalent of morphologically marked gender. But gender is an inherent feature, a property of individual nouns. And the role of gender is primarily syntagmatic: agreement connects elements that help to identify the same referent. A distinction is drawn between natural, grammatical, and referential gender, whose interaction is subject to the agreement hierarchy. Classifiers are prototypically dedicated hosts of agreement, unlike, say, adjectives. The role of classifiers is thus quite different from that of head of a periphrasis.

Keywords: adjective; noun; gender; classifiers; inherent feature; agreement; syntagmatic

Chapter.  11713 words. 

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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