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Description, Typology, Fieldwork

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Typology of noun classification systems

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Scientific framework and objectives

These studies aim to develop a typology of the noun classification systems of the world’s languages from a dynamic perspective (inter-system evolution, emergence and decay of systems) and to describe particular cases of this phenomenon. The expertise of the members of the DDL laboratory in Amerindian and African languages has enabled the development of a common descriptive strategy, which in turn has led to a revision of the understanding of noun classification in African languages as well as acted as a guide for the systematic collection of new data and their interpretation. It is proposed that a better understanding of the dynamic dimensions of systems will allow for better descriptions of as yet under or undescribed systems, in particular Amazonian systems and those of the Egyptian hieroglyphs, which have presented a challenge to present-day typologists.

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