Edited by Fernando Martínez-Gil and Sonia Colina
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 99] 2006
► pp. 339–357
A paradigm account of Spanish number
This paper assumes that an adequate grammar provides a formal characterization of the sound-meaning relation between the morpho-phonological alternants of a lexical constant, such as in the Number paradigm 〈casa,casas〉 ‘house’ of Spanish, as well as in other inflectional languages like Italian 〈panino,panini〉 ‘sandwich’ or Latin 〈puella/puellae〉 ‘lass’ (section 1). Inflectional languages exhibit intricately complex systems of paradigms meeting legibility requirements at phonological interface through organizational principles such as category hierarchy and markedness. A paradigm account Number of Spanish is developed in a constraint interaction framework inspired by the seminal work of McCarthy (2003). The analysis of Spanish Number proposed in this paper crucially relies on the parallel evaluation of the realization of both values of the paradigm of a single lexical constant, rather than on the evaluation of a single form of the alternation. We argue that the paradigm approach to Spanish Number provides a more uniform account, while shedding light on “exceptional” cases. The proposed analysis has implications for the general constraint based theory of morpho-phonology, with particular attention to the role of the constraint Realize Number.