The /‑(e)se/ in popular Dominican Spanish
An expressive marker not a double plural
In Dominican Spanish, speakers produce the marker /‑(e)se/ to turn singulars arroz and gallina into the plurals arrócese and gallínase. Núñez Cedeño (2003) proposed that grammar alone is insufficient to account for its distribution. He introduced an information structure explanation suggesting that pragmatic factors guided speakers in selecting specific grammatical contexts to insert a /‑(e)se/ plural [instead of a /‑(e)s/ plural]. Colina (2006) proposed an alternative optimality analysis arguing that the regular plural is formed on a plural /‑s/ regulated by a constraint which prevents it from surfacing. This paper proposes a three-pronged approach to counter previous analyses. Firstly, it shows that the ‘double plural’ does not exist and that /‑e/, not /‑s/, signals plural formation. Secondly, this analysis shows that previous accounts relying on focused constituents only cannot hold because /‑se/ realization occurs both in focus and topic positions. Thirdly, based on the Expressive Morphology hypothesis, this article proposes that /‑se/ is an expressive morphological marker used under some restricted morpho-phonological conditions.
Keywords: distributed morphology, Dominican Spanish, expressive morphology, double plurals, expressive phonology, expressive morphological marker, subject focus, hypercorrection, predicate focus, theory of information structure
Published online: 03 November 2008
Cited by 1 other publications
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