“Diacronia” bibliometric database (BDD)

Ambiguity in Romanian Word-Structure. The Structure of Plurals in …uri

Publication: Revue roumaine de linguistique, LXI (1), p. 3-12
Publisher:Editura Academiei
Abstract:This study questions the conventional assumption that Latin nouns of the type singular TEMPUS – plural TEMPORA (where TEMPUS and TEMPOR- were in fact simply allomorphs of the lexical root) became subject in Romance to a reanalysis such that the final portion of the plural, ...ORA, was identified as a novel (and hugely productive) desinence marking plural, continued as -uri in modern Romanian. Much of the evidence is consistent with this view but, focusing principally on Romanian (with some comparative observations from Italo-Romance), I show: (i) that many aspects of the history of this type presuppose the continued analysis of the final vowel aloneas an inflexional desinence, independent of preceding material (as it was in Latin); (ii) that changes in inflexional and derivational morphology indicate that speakers may still analyse ...ur... as an integral part of the lexical root (as its antecedent ...OR- was in Latin); (iii) that ...ur... may even be treated as a secondary plural-marking formative, distinct both from the lexical root and the final desinence. Such plurals encode the same meanings as the corresponding singulars (lexical meaning and values for number and gender), but they are at least one syllable longer, and it seems that such structural ‘asymmetry’ between singular and plural leads to vacillation over how lexical and grammatical meaning is apportioned in the plural.
Key words:Romanian; Italo-Romance; Latin; plurals; inflexion; morphology; diachrony
Language: English

Citations to this publication: 2

References in this publication: 0

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