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Animacy influences the grammar of languages in different ways, although it often goes unnoticed. Did you know that in English there is a strong tendency towards using the Saxon genitive ’s with humans instead of the preposition of? Have you ever hear that some Chinantecan languages encode the animate/inanimate distinction in almost every word, and that in Hatam only human nouns distinguish plural number? This book offers for the first time a comprehensive cross-linguistic study of its effects on morphological systems. How do real data fit the theorethical definition of animacy? Do we observe different types of animacy? Which techniques are employed to encode it? Which categories and features are affected, and how? Data from more than 300 languages provide answers to these (and other) questions.