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 The Morphosyntax of Gender and Word Class in Spanish (Evidence from -(c)ito/a Diminutives)

Since the inception of Distributed Morphology (Halle & Marantz, 1993), there have been two notable, but preliminary, analyses of Spanish gender and word-class within this framework: Harris (1999) and Kramer (2015). This dissertation fills in the gaps left by these partial analyses for nominals in particular. It presents a novel word-class inventory that captures a larger percentage of the data and posits that the postsynaptic of word-class marker targets multiple projections, not just nPs (pace, Kramer, 2015). Specific evidence for the postsynaptic insertion of word class on multiple projections (namely nPs and evaluative projections) arises from the novel two-level analysis proposed for -(c)ito/a diminutives whereby the diminutive allomorph -cito/a realizes a diminutive node on a separate diminutivizing projection (DimP), while the allomorph -ito/a realizes an adjunction to the nominalizing projection nP.

This two-level analysis accounts for the heretofore morphosyntactically unmotivated patterns of word-class markers with respect to each diminutive suffix (i.e., -ito/a vs. -cito/a). A brief investigation into other evaluative and derived morphology demonstrates that the analysis presented here allows for a unified explanation for the conditioning and subsequent realization of word-class markers for simple nominals, evaluative nominals, and perhaps even derived nominals.

Friday, October 14, 2016 at 10:00am to 12:00pm

Edward B. Bunn, S.J. Intercultural Center, 462, 37th and O St., N.W., Washington