Numerosity structures the expression of quantity in lexical numbers and grammatical number
Current Anthropology • Vol/Iss. 56(5) • University of Chicago Press • • Published In • Pages: 638-653 •
By Overmann, Karenleigh A.
While not statistically tested, the theoretical hypothesis that LNs emerge before GN was supported by two main findings. First, Overmann finds LNs to occur both with and without GN, but GN occurs only with LNs. No language has been found to have GN in the absence of LNs. Additionally, Overmann states that "if LNs emerge before GN, then the predicted geographic distribution would be for the youngest languages to lack both features, older languages to have LNs but not GN, and the oldest languages to have both features" (p.642). A geographic and temporal analysis of the distribution of linguistic features and human migrations found that, "the geographic areas where the peopling is the most recent contain languages lacking both quantity features or with restricted LNs and no GN, areas where the migrations traversed contain languages that lack GN only, and the areas where the migrations originated contain languages with both quantity features" (p.642-3). Taken together, the comparison of percentages and geographic distribution analysis support the claim that lexical numbers develop before grammatical number.
|Lexical numbers (LNs) are a necessary predictor for grammatical number (GN)||Supported|
|Lexical numbers (LNs) are sufficient for grammatical number (GN)||Not Supported|
|Grammatical number (GN) is necessary for lexical numbers (LNs)||Not Supported|
|Grammatical number (GN) is sufficient for lexical numbers (LNs)||Not Supported|
Documents and Hypotheses Filed By: jack.dunnington emily.pitek