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The structure and use of shape-based noun classes in Miraña (North West Amazon)

Seifart, F. (2005). The structure and use of shape-based noun classes in Miraña (North West Amazon). PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
Miraña, an endangered Witotoan language spoken in the Colombian Amazon region, has an inventory of over 60 noun class markers, most of which denote the shape of nominal referents. Class markers in this language are ubiquitous in their uses for derivational purposes in nouns and for agreement marking in virtually all other nominal expressions, such as pronouns, numerals, demonstratives, and relative clauses, as well as in verbs. This study provides a comprehensive analysis of this system by giving equal attention to its morphosyntactic, semantic, and discourse-pragmatic properties. The particular properties of this system raise issues in a number of ongoing theoretical discussions, in particular the typology of systems of nominal classification and the typology of reference tracking.

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