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Quantity expressions on nominal and verbal domain in underrepresented languages spoken in Brazil

  • Luciana Sanchez-Mendes
Monday 12 December 2022
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden


The aim of this talk is discussing the role of quantity systems in natural languages (cf. Doetjes, 2021) focusing on underrepresented languages spoken in Brazil.

I am going to present data from two Arawakan languages, Wapishana and Terena, to show that nominal plurality and classifiers are not the relevant quantity features that matter for countability in these languages (cf. Vicente et al. 2020 for Wapishana, and Sanchez-Mendes et al. 2020a for Terena). On the second part of the talk, I will focus on verbal domain in Karitiana (Tupian language) and Brazilian Sign Language (Libras) to show how frequency and degree expressions are related to event counting in these languages (cf. Sanchez-Mendes 2011 for Karitiana and Sanchez-Mendes et al. 2020b for Libras) in a comparison with French.


  • Doetjes, J. S. (2021). Quantity systems and the count/mass distinction. In H. Filip (Ed.), Countability in Natural Language, p. 52-84. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • VICENTE, H. G.; SANCHEZ-MENDES, L.; PIRES DE OLIVEIRA, R.; LUNGUINHO, M.; LEANDRO, W. M. (2020) The nominal system in Wapichana (Aruák): preliminary results. Linguistic Variation, 20:2. p. 397–407.
  • SANCHEZ-MENDES, L. (2011) Quantificação adverbial: operações de frequência e de grauEstudos Linguísticos (São Paulo. 1978), v. 40, p. 395-404.
  • SANCHEZ-MENDES, L.; QUADROS GOMES, A. P.; JULIO, A. (2020a) The count-mass distinction in Terena. Linguistic Variation, 20:2. p. 381–396.
  • SANCHEZ-MENDES, L.; SEGALA, R.; XAVIER, A. (2020b) Descrição e Análises Semântica da Intensidade em Libras. Revista Linguística, v. 16, n. 3, p. 311-331.
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