Claire Bowern and Jason Zentz paper published in Anthropological Linguistics

April 23, 2013

Claire Bowern and PhD Student Jason Zentz have a paper appearing in the current issue of Anthropological Linguistics. Titled Diversity in the Numeral Systems of Australian Languages, their paper sheds light on the extent of variation in small numeral systems by systematically surveying 189 languages from Pama-Nyungan and non-Pama-Nyungan families. They show that, contra previous assumptions, Australian languages vary extensively in the limits of their numeral systems, in the ways in which smaller numerals may be combined to form larger ones, and in their ability to denote vague quantities like ‘some’ or ‘few’. This research is a part of Professor Bowern’s interdisciplinary NSF grant on the dynamics of hunter-gatherer language change. Check out their paper here.

People Tags: