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Defective ParadigmsMissing Forms and What They Tell Us$
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Matthew Baerman, Greville G. Corbett, and Dunstan Brown

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264607

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264607.001.0001

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Failing One’s Obligations: Defectiveness in Rumantsch Reflexes* of DĒBĒRE

Failing One’s Obligations: Defectiveness in Rumantsch Reflexes* of DĒBĒRE

(p.19) 2 Failing One’s Obligations: Defectiveness in Rumantsch Reflexes* of DĒBĒRE
Defective Paradigms

Stephen R. Anderson

British Academy

This chapter examines the Surmiran dialect which is a form of Swiss Rumantsch. Surmiran is a Romance language which is one of the spoken languages in the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland. The emphasis of this chapter is on a single verb which lacks many of the forms other verbs possess, hence forcing the speakers to use a distinct, but almost synonymous verb as an alternative. Treated within a broader context, the verb dueir in Sumiran which is a Latin reflex of the dēbēre, provides an opportunity to evaluate how gaps should be treated within the context of Optimal Theory. This defectiveness in the Surmiran dueir was a result of the morphologization of the vowel alternations of the Swiss Rumantsch.

Keywords:   Surmiran dialect, Swiss Rumantsch, Surmiran, Romance language, dueir, morphologization, vowel alternations

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