Network Core Mechanisms of Exponence

Calabrese, Andrea (1998)


The Latin case system is broken down into features after the fashion of Jakobson (1936, 1958). Two types of syncretism are identified: (a) Absolute Case syncretism results from Case restrictions, which ban certain combinations of features. Thus the Case which would otherwise be represented by the banned feature combination cannot exist as a morphologically distinct entity in the language. (b) Contextual Case syncretism results from underspecification of the Case exponent; that is, the Case, as defined by the component features, exists in the language, but there are contexts where an underspecified exponent is used, resulting in syncretism in a class of words. The reduction in Case exponents in the Romance languages is attributed to the operation of Absolute Case syncretism; Contextual Case syncretism will not have been a contributing factor. The formal analysis is in terms of Distributed Morphology.

authorCalabrese, Andrea
titleSome remarks on the Latin case system and its development in Romance
editorLema, José and Treviño, Esthela
booktitleTheoretical Analyses on Romance languages
publisherJohn Benjamins


    author = {Calabrese, Andrea},
    year = {1998},
    title = {Some remarks on the Latin case system and its development in Romance},
    booktitle = {Theoretical Analyses on Romance languages},
    editor = {Lema, José and Treviño, Esthela},
    address = {Amsterdam/Philadelphia},
    publisher = {John Benjamins},
    pages = {71-126},
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