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Old French and Romanian Declensions from a Word And Paradigm Perspective and the Notion of “Default Syncretism”

Publication: Revue roumaine de linguistique, LVII (1), p. 3-34
Publisher:Editura Academiei
Abstract:Old French and Romanian nominal inflections or declensions share the property of being apparently uncomplicated as their paradigms consist in only two forms at most: a base form and an inflected form. This outward simplicity, however, results from complex syncretisms. In Old French masculine nouns, the singular subject case and the plural object case are identically inflected, whereas the singular object and the plural subject cases are identical base forms; in Romanian feminine nouns, the singular genitive-dative and the two plural case forms are the same. Such syncretisms raise a descriptive and theoretical issue as they appear to be neither semantically motivated nor fully arbitrary. Drawing on the conceptual and formalizing resources of Word and Paradigm (WP) theory and Paradigm Function Morphology (PFM), the present essay attempts to solve the issue by assuming a third kind of syncretism that involves not the meaningful content of features, but their DEFAULT value. At the same time, it proposes a nearly full treatment of Old French and Romanian declensions in PFM terms.
Language: English

Citations to this publication: 1

References in this publication: 4

2Alain KihmRomanian Nominal Inflection: A Realizational ApproachRRL, LII (3), 255-3022007pdf
396Valeria Guțu Romalo (coord.)GALR
Gramatica limbii române. I. Cuvântul; II. Enunțul
Editura Academiei2005; 2008
129Gabriela Pană DindeleganElemente de gramatică
Dificultăţi, controverse, noi interpretări
Humanitas Educaţional2003
11Antoine MeilletIntroduction à l’etude comparative des langues indo-européenesHachette; Cambridge University Press1903, 1908, 1912, 1924, 1937; 2010

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