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Noun: inanimacy
  1. (linguistics) The characteristic of a noun, in some languages, that is dependent on its unliving or non-sentient nature; this characteristic affects grammatical features (it can modify verbs used with the noun, affect the noun's declension etc).
    "In other words, the inanimacy of a head noun like "evidence" appeared not to penetrate the syntactic analysis of the verb "examined.""

Type of: grammatical category, syntactic category