Download Lexical Plurals: A Morphosemantic Approach (Oxford Studies by Paolo Acquaviva PDF

By Paolo Acquaviva

This publication explores the big variety of situations within which the plural of nouns is lexical. while a plural is lexicalized it turns into a part of what it's to grasp a definite notice: pence, for instance, is lexical since it ability a plurality of a undeniable sort - a a number of worth, no longer a collection of actual gadgets like pennies - and realizing this analyzing is understanding the observe. Languages show numerous examples of comparable word-dependent irregularities within the shape and which means of plural, yet those have by no means been analyzed intensive from a unified standpoint. Dr Acquaviva goals to just do that, utilizing analytic instruments from formal semantics and theoretical morphology to make clear the relation among grammar and the lexicon. After an creation starting off his technique he divides the publication into components. the 1st provides a based description of the methods plurality could be lexicalized with an emphasis on description and categorization. the second one analyzes extensive sorts of lexical plurals in Italian, Irish, Arabic and Breton. a last bankruptcy spells out the theoretical outcomes for the research of the lexicon. The booklet is rare in combining a extensive typological class with a unified morphological and semantic research in keeping with a proper framework.

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Therefore, we cannot build a notion of lexical plurals around that of pluralia tantum. 5 Lexical vs. inXectional plurals: lack of obligatoriness The intuition that plurality may be lexical means, above all, that it may display properties not usually associated with regular inXectional morphology. Unfortunately, deWning what it means to be inXectional is a matter of continuous 22 Part I: Typology debate. Like the philosophical question of the reality of universals, the distinction between inXection and derivation is too close to the theoretical heart of the discipline to be settled conclusively, as if it were no more than an empirical question.

20 Part I: Typology What Quirk et al. (1985) call ‘summation plurals’ refer to single, discrete entities having a perceptually salient internal articulation, objects like spectacles or functionally related sets of unattached parts like pyjamas. DiVerent languages obviously vary in the conceptualization of such complex objects: scissors are plural in English, French (ciseaux), Italian ( forbici), and Russian (nozˇnitsy) but not in German (Schere), Swedish (sax), or Hungarian (ollo´); among pluralia tantum that would strike English speakers as unusual, Corbett (2000: 174) mentions niicugnissuutet ‘radio’ in Central Alaska Yup’ik, and we may add the Polish skrzypce ‘violin’ (Wierzbicka 1988: 536) and the Russian sani ‘sledge’.

InXectional plurals: lack of obligatoriness The intuition that plurality may be lexical means, above all, that it may display properties not usually associated with regular inXectional morphology. Unfortunately, deWning what it means to be inXectional is a matter of continuous 22 Part I: Typology debate. Like the philosophical question of the reality of universals, the distinction between inXection and derivation is too close to the theoretical heart of the discipline to be settled conclusively, as if it were no more than an empirical question.

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