PL EN


2014 | 14 | 1 | 48-68
Article title

The phonological basis of Latin case patterns

Title variants
Languages of publication
EN
Abstracts
EN
This study focuses on accounting for allomorphy in Latin case/number inflection. It attributes essentially all of it to the influence of adjacent features of standard segmental phonology on morphemes expressing case assignment. Indeed, other languages lead linguists to expect that allomorphy at a stem-suffix border can depend on any feature of a final vowel: ±Low, ±High, ±Round, ±Back, ±Consonantal or ±Syllabic. Empirically, it turns out that no two Latin stem-final vowels induce identical allomorphy in case/number suffixes, nor the same allomorphy as final consonants. Moreover, some (not much) phonologically conditioned allomorphy is phonetically opaque. These two factors have led traditional scholarship to conclude that each stem-final segment should define a separate classification of noun suffixation or “declension”. As there are basically six types of final segment (a, o, u, i, e and consonants), each then gives rise to a different declension (stems with final i are often put in some other group or considered irregular), thus creating five (or six) declensions. Tradition then goes on to analyse stem-final vowels not as part of stems but as some kind of separate morphemes called “thematic vowels” (with no role in either syntax or phonology). This essay argues rather that an unflinching modern and formal approach to inflectional allomorphy, exactly analogous to using phonology to reduce regular English plurals to a single lexical form, succeeds in sweeping away the sandcastle of Latin declensions and better captures the actual descriptive generalizations that account for Latin case inflection.
Publisher
Year
Volume
14
Issue
1
Pages
48-68
Physical description
Dates
published
2014-12-01
online
2014-12-30
Contributors
References
  • ARONOFF, M., 1994. Morphology by itself: Stems and inflectional classes. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • BABBY, L.,1980. The syntax of surface case marking. Cornell Working Papers in Linguistics 1, pp.1-32.
  • BAKER, M., 1985. The Mirror Principle and morphosyntactic explanation. Linguistic Inquiry , vol.16, pp. 373-416.
  • BALDI, P. and CUZZOLIN, P., 2009. New perspectives on historical latin syntax 1. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • BERMUDEZ-OTERO, R., 2007. Morphological structure and phonological domains in Spanish denominal derivation. In: F. Martínez-Gil and S. Colina, eds. Optimality-theoretic studies in Spanish phonology. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 278-311.
  • BOBALJIK, J., 2008. Paradigms, optimal and otherwise: A case for skepticism. In: A. Bachrach and A. Nevins, eds. Inflectional identity. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, pp. 29-54.
  • CHOMSKY, N., 1981. Lectures on governement and binding. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • CHOMSKY, N. and HALLE, M., 1968. The sound pattern of English. New York: Harper and Row.
  • CSER, A. (to appear). The nature of phonological conditioning in Latin inflectional morphology. Acta Linguistica Hungarica.
  • EMONDS, J., 1985. A unified theory of syntactic categories. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • EMONDS, J., 1987. The invisible category principle. Linguistic Inquiry , vol.18, pp. 613-631.
  • EMONDS, J., 2000. Lexicon and grammar: The English syntacticon. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • EMONDS, J., 2009. De declinationibus disputandum est. In : P. Karlík, ed. Development of language through the lens of formal linguistics. Munich: Lincom Europe, pp. 63-85.
  • EMONDS, J., 2010. Case theory revisited: Nominative and accusative super case. In: A. Bičan, J. Klaška, P. Macurová a J. Zmrsliková, eds. Karlík a továrna na lingvistiku. Brno : Masaryk University Press, pp. 98-124.
  • EMONDS, J., 2012. Blackjack! 21 arguments that Agreeing Adjectives are Derived Nominals. In: E. Torrego, ed. Of grammar, words and verses. In honor of Carlos Piera. John Benjamins Publishing, Amsterdam, pp. 171-200.
  • EMONDS, J. and SPAELTI, P., 2005. Fully distributing morphology: The phonology and syntax of Latin case inflections. In: Theoretical and Applied Linguistics at Kobe Shoin 8. Kobe Shoin: Kobe Shoin, pp. 1-20.
  • EMONDS, J. and OSTLER, R., 2006. Thirty years of double object debates. In: M. Everaert and H. van Riemsdijk, eds. The Blackwell companion to syntax. London: Blackwell Publishing.
  • GOAD, H., 1993. On the configuration of height features. University of Southern California doctoral dissertation.
  • GRIMSHAW, J., 1990. Argument structure. Cambridge Mass: MIT Press.
  • HALLE, M. and MARANTZ, A., 1993. Distributed morphology and the pieces of inflection. In: K. Hale and S .J. Keyser, eds. The view from building 20: Essays in linguistics in honor of Sylvain Bromberger. Cambridge MA: MIT Press, pp. 111-176.
  • HALLE, M. and NEVINS, A., 2009. Rule application in phonology. In: Ch. Cairns and E. Raimy, eds. Representation and architecture in phonological theory. Cambridge MA: MIT Press, pp. 355-382.
  • HENLE, R., 1945. Latin grammar. Revised Edition. Chicago: Loyola University Press.
  • McCARTHY, J., 2003. Comparative markedness. Theoretical Linguistics , vol. 29, pp. 1-51.
  • LARSON, R., 1985. Bare NP adverbials. Linguistic Analysis, vol. 18, pp. 595-621.
  • PERLMUTTER, D., 1971. Deep and surface constraints in syntax. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
  • RITTER, E., 1993. Where’s gender? Linguistic Inquiry, vol. 24, pp. 795-803.
  • RICE, K. and Avery, P., 1991. On the relationship between laterality and coronality. In: C. Paradis and J.-F. Prunet, eds. Phonetics and phonology 2: The special status of coronals. San Diego: Academic Press, pp. 101-124.
  • SAPIR, E,. 1921. Language: An introduction to the study of speech. New York: Harcourt Brace.
  • SPAELTI, P., 2004. Some phonological and morphological patterns in the Latin noun declension system. Theoretical and Applied Linguistics at Kobe Shoin 7. Kobe Shoin: Kobe Shoin, pp. 131-137.
  • STOCK, L., 1971. Langenscheidts kurzgrammatik latein. Berlin: Langenscheidt.
  • VESELOVSKA, L., 2001. Agreement patterns of Czech group nouns and quantifiers. In N. Corver and H. van Riemsdijk, eds. Semi-lexical categories., Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • WHITNEY, W.D., 1889. Sanskrit grammar. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.doi-10_2478_topling-2014-0011
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.