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On the so-called Romanian “neuter”

Publication: Bucharest Working Papers in Linguistics, XI (2)
Publisher:Universitatea din București
Abstract:We discuss several possible analyses of Romanian “neuter” nouns (a productive class of nouns which trigger masculine agreement in the singular and feminine agreement in the plural): the three-gender analysis (Romanian has three genders and systematic syncretism), the ambigeneric analysis (Romanian neuters are masculine in the singular and feminine in the plural), the underspecification analysis (Romanian neuters are not specified for gender) and the nominal class analysis (nouns do not have genders, but rather nominal classes which are selected by Number heads on which the gender feature is generated). The arguments used to decide between these analyses are (i) gender in the pronominal system, (ii) gender agreement in coordination and (iii) general economy considerations. We retain the underspecification analysis and the nominal class analysis and propose solutions to the problems these analyses face.
Key words:gender, neuter, agreement, coordination, pronouns

Citations to this publication: 1

References in this publication: 6

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