Plural exponence in the Nez Perce DP: a DM analysis


This paper analyzes two patterns of number marking in the DP in Nez Perce (Sahaptian) within the framework of Distributed Morphology. The first involves under-realization of plural on nouns. Number has classically been understood as a feature inherent to nouns, rather than to adjectives that modify them. In Nez Perce, however, only a small set of nouns show number morphology, whereas number morphology is highly productive on adjectival modifiers. Adjectives in fact may realize the plural more than once per word—an instance of multiple exponence. I show that the puzzle of under-realization for nouns can be solved through conditioned allomorphy, providing new evidence for the presence of gender features on n (Lowenstamm 2007; Kramer 2014). The puzzle of multiple exponence (over-realization) for adjectives can be solved through Local Dislocation (Embick and Noyer 2001) combined with very late insertion of reduplicative content (Haugen 2008, 2011), demonstrating one way the DM architecture may produce multiple exponence without recourse to dedicated mechanisms.

Publication date: 
January 1, 2016
Publication type: 
Recent Publication
Deal, Amy Rose. 2016. Plural exponence in the Nez Perce DP: a DM analysis. Morphology 26(3): 313–333.