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.


Grammatical number (GN) is sufficient for lexical numbers (LNs)


Societies lacking GN and LNs (n=2) are significantly outnumbered by both societies possessing LNs beyond five or greater (the subitization threshold) but no GN (n=75), and by societies possessing LNs beyond five and GN (n=820). If the hypotheses (that nominal plurality is sufficient for developing LNs) were true, then "all languages with nominal plurality would develop LNs (and there were eight cases with only restricted LNs)" (p.640).


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Comparison of percentagesNot Supportedn.a.n.a.n.a.


Variable NameVariable Type OCM Term(s)
Highest Number Counted (Lexical Number)IndependentNumeration
Nominal Plurality (Grammatical Number)DependentNumeration