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Nominal inflection classes in verbal paradigms

Baerman, Matthew, Monich, Irina and Reid, Tatiana (2019) Nominal inflection classes in verbal paradigms Morphology.

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It is not uncommon for inflected nominal forms to be incorporated into verbal paradigms, as in Imonda progressive construction tōbtō soh-ia ale-f ‘he is looking for fish (lit. fish search-loc stay-prs)’, where the verbal noun ‘search’ is in the locative case. Equally, nominal inflection classes are not uncommon. But the two rarely cooccur. We present two case studies (the only examples we are aware of) as a contribution to the typology of inflection class systems: the Western Nilotic language Nuer, and Old Irish. In these languages nominal inflection class distinctions in case marking have become part of the verbal paradigm through the incorporation of constructions involving deverbal nouns. This provides a unique context for observing the properties of inflection classes. In Nuer, case inflection of the verbal noun can be deduced through a cascading series of implicatures, laying bare processes which are entirely covert in the ordinary noun system. With Old Irish, its transition to the modern period was accompanied by a split in the behaviour of verbal nouns, whose inflection class system was simplified when used verbally, but left intact in other contexts, showing that incorporation into the verbal paradigm had real effects on the system.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Literature and Languages > English > Surrey Morphology Group
Authors :
Date : 12 March 2019
Funders : Arts & Humanities Research Council (UK)
DOI : 10.1007/s11525-019-09342-5
Copyright Disclaimer : © The Author(s) 2019. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Inflection class; Verbal noun; Nuer; Irish
Depositing User : Diane Maxfield
Date Deposited : 01 Mar 2019 15:59
Last Modified : 13 Mar 2019 08:45

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