The notion of inflection and the expression of nominal gender in Spanish
The paper discusses the morphological status and the function of Spanish nominal endings -o and -a (ciel+o ‘sky’ vs. caj+a ‘box’); it is shown that both endings, plus the endings -e and -Ø, are inflectional suffixes that mark, however, not the values of an inflectional category (like nominal number or verbal tense), but the values of a feature of the syntactics of the noun — the nominal gender. The ‘nominal gender’ is defined as a cluster concept based on eight properties; it is a particular case of ‘agreement class’ opposed to ‘noun class.’ Some particularities of Spanish nominal gender are examined: its interaction with diminutive suffixes, gender conversion, and its “non-prototypical” character (a parallel is drawn between Spanish nominal genders and noun classes in Fula).
Keywords: nominal gender, inflection, Fula, Spanish
Published online: 20 December 2013
Cited by 3 other publications
CORBETT, GREVILLE G. & SEBASTIAN FEDDEN
Fedden, Sebastian & Greville G. Corbett
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