Network Core Mechanisms of Exponence

Lecarme, Jaqueline (2002)

Abstract

Lecarme shows that alleged gender polarity in Somali (the fact that apparently the article suffix for plural masculine nouns is the same as for singular feminine nouns whereas, the article suffix for plural feminine nouns is the same as for singular masculine nouns) is an illusion evoked by a quite different system: Plural markers of nouns are lexical and bear their own gender features, and since specific masculine plural affixes select only feminine nouns, and specific masculine plural affixes select only feminine nouns they give the impression of polarity. However masculine plural markers which are compatible with masculine and feminine nouns result consistently in the masculine form of the article. Thus the exceptionless generalization is that the choice of the plural marker determines the choice of the (gender of the) article suffix whereas polarity only emerges for a subset of plural affixes. Lecarme also provides further evidence for the lexical character of Somali plural affixes: (i) Plural affixes can be embedded in word formation processes (e.g. compounds) (ii) plural markers can attach to other plural markers (to express countable groups). See Nevins (2003) and Lahne (2007) for alternative analyses of the Somali data.

Lecarme:2002
authorLecarme, Jaqueline
year2002
titleGender ''polarity'': Theoretical aspects of Somali nominal morphology
entrytypeincollection
editorBoucher, Paul
booktitleMany Morphologies
publisherSomerville, MA: Cascadilla Press
pages109-141

BibTeX

@incollection{Lecarme:2002,
    author = {Lecarme, Jaqueline},
    year = {2002},
    title = {Gender ''polarity'': Theoretical aspects of Somali nominal morphology},
    booktitle = {Many Morphologies},
    editor = {Boucher, Paul},
    publisher = {Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press},
    pages = {109-141},
}
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