Goidelic inherent plurals and the morphosemantics of number

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Title: Goidelic inherent plurals and the morphosemantics of number
Authors: Acquaviva, Paolo
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/4182
Date: Nov-2006
Abstract: After numbers above 2, nouns are singular or plural depending on the language. But in Irish and Scottish some nouns must be singular and others plural, in a variety of dialectal patterns. Once the semantic basis underlying all these patterns is clarified, the ‘‘irregular’’ distribution of number in Goidelic fits neatly into the typological pattern of classifier constructions. Number seems arbitrary in some constructions, because that is where nouns are interpreted as transnumerals: apparent singulars are just numberless, and plurals are inherently plural stems. This provides a unified explanation for a host of constructions beside numeratives, and affords a deeper understanding of the way aspects of lexical semantics are encoded by number morphology.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright (published version): 2005 Published by Elsevier B.V.
Keywords: Plural;Irish;Scottish;Morphology;Semantics
DOI: 10.1016/j.lingua.2004.10.003
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Languages, Cultures and Linguistics Research Collection

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