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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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On Morphomic Defectiveness: Evidence from the Romance Languages of the Iberian Peninsula1

On Morphomic Defectiveness: Evidence from the Romance Languages of the Iberian Peninsula1

Chapter:
(p.103) 7 On Morphomic Defectiveness: Evidence from the Romance Languages of the Iberian Peninsula1
Source:
Defective Paradigms
Author(s):

Martin Maiden

Paul O’neill

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264607.003.0007

This chapter discusses the overall paradigmatic distribution of gaps in the Romance languages of the Iberian Peninsula. It revisits the Spanish data from a historical and comparative perspective, considering the closely related language, Portuguese. Ibero-Romance paradigm gaps are determined by the lexical rarity and the morphemic patterning. Paradigm gaps are also affected by ‘low speaker confidence’. This behaviour defines the avoidance of allomorphy even in the absence of reasonable grounds to expect the occurrence of allomorphy. Such behaviour is triggered by the speaker's sensitivity to a major distributional pattern of root allomorphy in Spanish and Portuguese such as that in non-first conjunction verbs, the first person singular present indicative together with all persons and numbers of the present subjunctive in shared root allomorph. In addition to determining the defectiveness in the Ibero-Romance languages, the chapter also provides a discussion on the general domains and determinants of defectiveness.

Keywords:   paradigmatic distribution, Romance languages, Spanish, Portuguese, paradigm gaps, lexical rarity, morphemic patterning

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