- Dutch female personal nouns, the (non-) existence of derivational paradigms
- SKASE Journal for Theoretical Linguistics
- Volume | Issue number
- 12 | 3
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
In the literature (Van Marle 1985, 1986) it has been argued that the formation of female personal nouns can only be properly understood if we assume that word-formation (just like inflection) is organized paradigmatically. In this paper I argue that an alternative analysis of these forms is possible which does not make use of paradigmaticity. Specifically, Van Marle observes a ‘paradigmatic’ condition on the existence of female nouns in -ster: such nouns are only possible if there is an existing neutral personal noun in -er. However, there is no visible derivational relation between the two. Van Marle concludes from this that the grammar uses information about forms ‘in absentia’ when building nouns in -ster. However, I will show that such paradigmatic means are superfluous once we acknowledge the possibility of morphological haplology. We propose that the female personal nouns are derived from the forms ending in -er and that a haplology-rule deletes -er immediately before -ster. Since haplology is independently motivated (see e.g. Yip 1998, Nevins 2012), we submit that the present contribution provides an argument against paradigmatic means for word-formation.
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