Do the plural suffixes -gulo, -guli, -ra and -der belong to the classifier system of modern Bangla?

Hildegunn Dirdal

Wednesday 12 December, 14.15; room 489 PAM

Bangla (or Bengali) has a so-called numeral-classifier system, which means that certain morphemes are typically attached to a numeral or other quantifier in order to classify the referent of the noun phrase in which they occur. This is exemplified in (1).


(1) car-jon lok                             tin-Ta na car-Ta din

      four CLA(human) people      three-CLA(default) or four-CLA day

      ‘four people’                         ‘three or four days’


That the morphemes -jon and -Ta in the examples above belong among the classifiers is uncontroversial. The same holds for several other morphemes. However, when it comes to the plural suffixes -gulo, -guli, -ra and -der, the literature shows different opinions. Some treat these as a different type of morphemes; others include -gulo and -guli among the classifiers, but exclude -ra and -der; and when -ra and -der are included, there is no proper account of the reasons for doing so. In my talk, I will present data from the EMILLE corpus showing to what extent the plural suffixes are similar to the established classifiers when it comes to classification of noun phrase referents, syntactic position in the noun phrase, participation in definiteness marking and status as phrasal rather than inflectional suffixes.

The EMILLE Corpus was constructed in cooperation between the EMILLE project (Enabling Minority Language Engineering) at Lancaster University and the Central Institute of Indian Languages in Mysore, India. It is distributed by the European Language Resources Association. The corpus contains fourteen monolingual corpora with data from different South-Asian languages. It also contains a parallel corpus with English texts and their translations into Bangla, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. I have used the spoken language part of the Bangla corpus.

Publisert 6. des. 2012 18:48 - Sist endret 6. des. 2012 18:56