1 Section for Linguistics, Faculty of Humanities, Aarhus University, Aarhus University2 University of Amsterdam3 School of Communication and Culture - Linguistics, School of Communication and Culture, Arts, Aarhus University4 School of Communication and Culture - Linguistics, School of Communication and Culture, Arts, Aarhus University
In this paper we intend to show that Mundari is one of the languages without distinct classes of verbs and nouns as far as its basic, non-derived vocabulary is concerned. Our contribution is organized as follows. Section 2 briefly presents a typology of parts-of-speech (PoS) systems, followed by a critical evaluation of the three criteria Evans & Osada (E&O - this volume) use to establish the lack of word class distinctions in a language (section 3). In section 4 we present evidence to support our claim that Mundari has ‘flexible’ basic lexemes (i.e. there is no fundamental distinction between nouns and verbs), thus disputing E&O’s claim that Mundari has clearly definable classes of verbs and nouns. The last section is concerned with a set of grammatical features which correlate with the presence of flexible lexemes in a language. It is concluded that Mundari displays all of the predicted features of a language that does not clearly distinguish between separate classes of nouns and verbs.
Linguistic Typology, 2005, Vol 9, Issue 3, p. 406-431