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One classy number: Linking morphemes in Dutch and German

One classy number: Linking morphemes in Dutch and German

Title: One classy number: Linking morphemes in Dutch and German
Author: Fenger, Paula
Harðarson, Gísli   orcid.org/0000-0003-4136-5869
Date: 2020
Language: English
Scope: 1–14
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
School: Hugvísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Humanities (UI)
Department: Málvísindastofnun (HÍ)
The Institute of Linguistics (UI)
ISBN: 9798680968314
Series: NELS;50
Subject: Samsett orð; Orðhlutafræði
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/2450

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Fenger, Paula & Gísli Rúnar Harðarson. 2020. One classy number: Linking morphemes in Dutch and German í Mariam Asatryan, Yixiao Song, Ayana Whitman (ritstj.): NELS 50, vol 2, 1–14.. Amherst, MA:GLSA


Germanic compounds often contain an element referred to as linkers, (L). These elements are homophonous with inflectional suffixes, like plural or case markers, but do not nec- essarily have the same meaning or function as the corresponding inflectional suffix. This is exemplified by Dutch below where, outside of compounds, schaap is obligatorily inter- preted as plural in the presence of the plural marker, (1a). This is not the case in compounds, where schaap is unspecified for number interpretation in the presence of the L in (1b) and does not necessarily match the choice of inflectional suffix outside of the compound in (1c). (1) Dutch (Krott et al. 2007:28) a. schaap -en sheep -PL ‘sheep’ b. schaap -en -bout sheep -L -leg ‘sheep leg’ c. schaap -s -kooi sheep -L -fold ‘sheep fold’ These L have received a wide range of analyses but typically they are analyzed as some- thing distinct from the corresponding inflectional suffixes. In this paper however, we argue, focusing on German and Dutch, that the behavior of L follows from their structural posi- tion. Following De Belder (2013), we argue that both Ls and the corresponding inflectional affixes are class markers and that the complex behaviors observed follows from their dis- tribution in the DP. Ls thus shed light on the feature system of the Germanic DP and their interactions. We furthermore propose that the presence or absence of L can be taken as an indicator of the size of the


©2020 by Paula Fenger & Gísli Rúnar Harðarson

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