Marc Allassonnière-Tang

CNRS researcher at the Ecological Anthropology lab (UMR 7206), National Museum of Natural History in Paris. Also associated with the Dynamics of Language lab (UMR 5596), Lumière Lyon 2 University in Lyon.


My academic background is in general linguistics, including topics such as syntax and phonology. I worked in the computer industry (ASUS) before coming back to academia. I developed along the way (and I am also still developing) skills in quantitative computational typology and in linguistics to investigate and/or develop existing linguistic hypotheses in terms of synchrony and diachrony.

My current research relates to (and is not restricted to) nominal classification systems, such as the masculine/feminine distinction in French or the shape-based classifiers in Mandarin. The main aim is to explain the worldwide diversity and distribution of such systems, which are found in around half of the languages of the world. This involves analyzing ‘what is their definition’, ‘why they are found in some languages and not others’, ‘what is their function’, ‘how are their categories constructed’, and ‘how do they interact with the sociocultural and the cognitive systems’.

Available for (but not limited to): Linguistic typology, Computational linguistics, Classification and regression, Bayesian phylogenetic inference, Agent-based simulation modeling

selected publications

  1. Defining numeral classifiers and identifying classifier languages of the world
    One-Soon Her, Harald Hammarström, and Marc Allassonnière-Tang
    Linguistics Vanguard 2022
  2. Expansion by migration and diffusion by contact is a source to the global diversity of linguistic nominal categorization systems
    Marc Allassonnière-Tang, Olof Lundgren, Maja Robbers, and 5 more authors
    Humanities and Social Sciences Communications 2021
  3. A typology of classifiers and gender: From description to computation
    Marc Tang
    In Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis 2019