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Catalan Verbal Compounds and the Syntax-Morphology Competition
Susanna Padrosa Trias
91-107 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


In this paper, the author argues that Catalan synthetic compounds of the type [NV]V, in which the N indicates inalienable possession and is typically interpreted as an argument of the V—e.g., alatrencar, wing+break: "to break the wing(s) (of an animal)" (cf. Cabré and Rigau 1986, Mascaró 1986, Gavarró 1990)—are not generated by syntactic movement (cf. Brunelli 2003) but by an independent morphological system. Several factors like stranding, referentiality, possible functions of non-heads, prototypical features of incorporating languages, headedness, and derivational economy provide some evidence for this view. In addition, by looking at this type of Catalan compound, the author assesses the validity of the competition analysis between syntax and morphology (as put forward by Ackema and Neeleman 2004, 2007), and suggests that a finer-grained semantic analysis is needed to make predictions regarding which morphological structures are possible in a language.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 5th Décembrettes: Morphology in Toulouse
edited by Fabio Montermini, Gilles Boyé, and Nabil Hathout
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Printed edition: $180.00