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The Morphosyntax of Gender$
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Ruth Kramer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199679935

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199679935.001.0001

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The highest gender wins and the interaction of gender and declension class

The highest gender wins and the interaction of gender and declension class

(p.213) 10 The highest gender wins and the interaction of gender and declension class
The Morphosyntax of Gender

Ruth Kramer

Oxford University Press

This chapter has two goals, both concerning the implications of gender features on n. First, nominals that contain multiple, stacked ns are investigated. Data is presented showing that the highest n determines the gender of the nominal, and the chapter develops an explanation of this fact based on independently-motivated assumptions about morphosyntactic cyclicity. Interestingly, some diminutive nouns retain the gender of their base noun, and the chapter shows how this can be explained given current approaches to diminutive morphosyntax. The second goal of the chapter is to consider declension class, which is often inserted post-syntactically at/near n in Distributed Morphology. It is demonstrated that gender can affect the choice of declension class—as predicted if it is adjoined to n and gender is on n. The chapter presents a brief case study of declension class in Spanish, which further articulates the relationship between gender and declension class.

Keywords:   gender, morphology, syntax, agreement, cyclicity, diminutive, Distributed Morphology, declension class, Spanish, nominalization

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