Single versus concurrent systems: Nominal classification in Mian

Greville G. Corbett, Sebastian Fedden, Raphael Finkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The Papuan language Mian allows us to refine the typology of nominal classification. Mian has two candidate classification systems, differing completely in their formal realization but overlapping considerably in their semantics. To determine whether to analyse Mian as a single system or concurrent systems we adopt a canonical approach. Our criteria - orthogonality of the systems (we give a precise measure), semantic compositionality, morphosyntactic alignment, distribution across parts of speech, exponence, and interaction with other features - point mainly to an analysis as concurrent systems. We thus improve our analysis of Mian and make progress with the typology of nominal classification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-260
Number of pages52
JournalLinguistic Typology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 26 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston 2017.


  • Canonical Typology
  • Mian
  • agreement
  • classifiers
  • gender
  • inflection
  • inflectional categories
  • morphology
  • number

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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