The semantic basis and morphosyntactic reflexes of Kiowa-Tanoan noun classification are perspicuously captured in a system with three bivalent number features: [±singular], [±augmented], [±group]. Privative analyses of the same facts require, inter alia, features without semantic motivation, syntactic mechanisms that violate Inclusivity, and feature annotation reminiscent of bivalence. The semantic atoms of number are, therefore, bivalent.

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Author notes

This article has greatly benefited from the attention given it by David Adger, Morris Halle, Orin Percus, Laurel J. Watkins, and two LI reviewers, one of whom, in particular, offered a level of criticism well beyond the call of duty. The argument mounted in the article stems from research originally undertaken in relation to my 2003 dissertation, and I take this opportunity to reiterate my thanks to Vincent Bointy, Georgia Dupoint, and Dorothy Kodaseet, all of whom are now, regrettably, deceased. Part of the work for this article was undertaken under the auspices of Project (Atomic Linguistic Elements of Phi), Sub-Project ℵ (Theory of Atomic Valence), Arts and Humanities Research Council of the United Kingdom grant AH/G019274/1. I am grateful to all of the aforementioned in many different ways.