Abstract counting and object counting across languages

Authors

CAHA Pavel WĄGIEL Marcin

Year of publication 2019
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Citation
Description The paper proposes a unified morpho-semantic account for the typological variation in form and meaning of cardinal numerals across languages. In particular, we investigate the morphological marking of different types of cardinals and argue that despite an apparent morphological chaos, it is possible to identify cross-linguistically stable semantic ingredients, which compositionally provide the attested types of numerals. We adopt the framework of Nanosyntax (Starke 2009 et seq.) as a model of morphology which, when applied to the semantic structures we propose, delivers the relevant marking patterns. The model we develop is broadly based on the idea that the meaning components are uniformly structured across languages, and they must all be pronounced, though languages differ in how they pronounce them. All cardinals share an underlying scale of natural numbers but differ in a number of operations subsequently applied to that scale.
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