This contribution deals with the structure of nominal inflections in Romance, and specifically with the –a inflection in Italian varieties, which realizes the plural as well as the feminine singular. Thus the –a inflection externalizes apparently irreducible contents (singular/plural). Feminine plural –a alternating with masculine singular characterize Standard Italian and many South-Italian dialects. On the contrary, in some Northern Italian varieties –a characterizes feminine singular and plural, while the specialized (-)i plural morphology occurs determiners. We argue that in both of the languages considered, the –a plural externalizes a nominal Class property [aggregate]. We propose that [aggregate] is at the basis of the superficial syncretism between plural and singular/feminine in the occurrence of the –a inflection. Indeed [aggregate] introduces a notion of plurality as aggregate of individuals compatible at least with mass singulars (aggregates of parts). In general, the inflectional vowels of Romance languages, or in any event Italian –a, are not mere byproducts of paradigmatic organization, but are lexical items, endowed with interpretive content.

N morphology and its interpretation: Romance feminine/plural –a / Maria Rita Manzini; Leonardo M. Savoia. - STAMPA. - (2018), pp. 157-177. [10.3726/b14530]

N morphology and its interpretation: Romance feminine/plural –a.

Maria Rita Manzini;Leonardo M. Savoia
2018

Abstract

This contribution deals with the structure of nominal inflections in Romance, and specifically with the –a inflection in Italian varieties, which realizes the plural as well as the feminine singular. Thus the –a inflection externalizes apparently irreducible contents (singular/plural). Feminine plural –a alternating with masculine singular characterize Standard Italian and many South-Italian dialects. On the contrary, in some Northern Italian varieties –a characterizes feminine singular and plural, while the specialized (-)i plural morphology occurs determiners. We argue that in both of the languages considered, the –a plural externalizes a nominal Class property [aggregate]. We propose that [aggregate] is at the basis of the superficial syncretism between plural and singular/feminine in the occurrence of the –a inflection. Indeed [aggregate] introduces a notion of plurality as aggregate of individuals compatible at least with mass singulars (aggregates of parts). In general, the inflectional vowels of Romance languages, or in any event Italian –a, are not mere byproducts of paradigmatic organization, but are lexical items, endowed with interpretive content.
978-3-631-76466-4
Studies in formal linguistics. Universal patterns and language specific parameters
157
177
Maria Rita Manzini; Leonardo M. Savoia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2158/1135592
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