Case and Number Suppletion in Pronouns
Peter W. Smith, Beata Moskal, Ting Xu, Jungmin Kang, Jonathan Bobaljik
February 2018

Suppletion for case and number in pronominal paradigms shows robust patterns across a large, cross-linguistic survey. These patterns are largely, but not entirely, parallel to patterns described in Bobaljik (2012) for suppletion for adjectival degree. Like adjectival degree suppletion along the dimension positive < comparative < superlative, if some element undergoes suppletion for a category X, that element will also undergo suppletion for any category more marked than X on independently established markedness hierarchies for case and number. We argue that the structural account of adjectival suppletive patterns in Bobaljik (2012) extends to pronominal suppletion, on the assumption that case (Caha 2009) and number (Harbour 2011) hierarchies are structurally encoded. In the course of the investigation, we provide evidence against the common view that suppletion obeys a condition of structural (Bobaljik 2012) and/or linear (Embick 2010) adjacency, and argue that the full range of facts requires instead a domain-based approach to locality (cf. Moskal 2015). In the realm of number, suppletion of pronouns behaves as expected, but a handful of examples for suppletion in nouns show a pattern that is initially unexpected; however which is consistent with the overall view if the Number head is also internally structurally complex (contra Harbour 2007). Moreover, variation in suppletive patterns for number converges with independent evidence for variation in the internal complexity and markedness.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003110
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: submitted
keywords: suppletion, pronouns, case, number, distributed morphology, containment, markedness, *aba, morphology
previous versions: v3 [February 2018]
v2 [February 2018]
v1 [August 2016]
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