Classifiers Studies- Past and Future
Sample mapping of the animal world “having [HIDE & TAIL]” in the ancient Egyptian mind
(Image after Goldwasser, Orly. in press. “Was There an “Animal” in Ancient Egypt? Studies in Lexica and Classifier Systems, with a Glimpse Towards Sumer,” in: Seen Not Heard: Composition, Iconicity, and the Classifier Systems of Logosyllabic Scripts. March 2–3, 2017 Proceedings).
What is yet to be achieved in classifier studies?
There is no comprehensive study of Egyptian classifiers.
A modern list of Egyptian classifiers does not exist.
No list ranks classifiers by frequency and domains of use.
No research allows one to study variation in classification according to script type.
No research ties between classifier variation and textual genres, linguistic registers etc.
No research allows to study the diachrony of a lemma’s classification or the diachrony of a certain classifier. Also the synchronous relations of classifiers were not studied systematically.
Users can create classifier maps for their corpus and examine which classifiers are central and which marginal and what are the web of relations between classifiers.
Here below is a map of classifiers of Semitic loanwords in Egyptian as a sample:
A detail of the map, including the relations between 𓂡 D40 and 𓂷 D51: