Does somebody knows a good paper or textbook that would have a Distributed Morphology (DM) approach to declension class? Ora Matushansky writes that it is an "underlying nominal property influencing gender assignment". Is declension class a feature then? And how is it possible for DM to have features influencing gender assignment and not define it? Is there any competition allowed? (must not be, right?)

  • Declension class just means a group of nouns with similar paradigms. In Latin, for instance, there is a thematic vowel stem class (traditionally called First and Second Declensions) with overt gender markings (amicus, amica), and an athematic consonant stem class (Third Declension) without overt gender markings (homo, tempus, mare), in addition to several declensions (Fourth and Fifth) containing very few, but very common nouns (manus, res).
    – jlawler
    Aug 17, 2017 at 21:28
  • Right, but DM threats declension class as a syntactic(?) property. For example, Kramer argues that at the PF stage a special node Th is inserted as sister node to n, and then at the Vocabulary Insertion a corresponding thematic vowel is inserted in this node. What is puzzling for me, is how lexical gender and declension class may influence gender assignment to nouns like Russian dom-ina houseMASC-inaFEM, influence but not define means competition, doesn't it?
    – varya
    Aug 20, 2017 at 13:57
  • Ah, well, if you can insert special nodes with special properties to take care of problems, then you can do anything you want, because the nodes explain the phenomena, and the phenomena license the nodes.
    – jlawler
    Aug 20, 2017 at 23:30


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy