LLF – Bât. ODG – 5e étage – Salle du conseil (533)
Marc Allassonnière-Tang (UMR 7206/ Éco-anthropologie)
The worldwide diversity of nominal classification systems: Qualitative and quantitative linguistics
The talk will be about ongoing research on nominal classification systems, such as the masculine/feminine distinction in French or the shape-based classifiers in Mandarin. The main aim is to explain the worldwide diversity and distribution of such systems, which are found in around half of the languages of the world. This involves analyzing ‘what is their definition’, ‘why they are found in some languages and not others’, ‘what is their function’, ‘how are their categories constructed’, and ‘how do they interact with the sociocultural and the cognitive systems’. The talk will give an overview of what is known so far about these questions and what are the future prospects.