Plural morphemes are conventionally analyzed as realizations of the Num(ber) head of NumP (see, e.g., Ritter 1991 among many others). However, much recent morphosyntactic research has investigated 'idiosyncratic' plural systems where some or all of the plural morphemes are not realizations of Num (see, e.g., Lecarme 2002, Lowenstamm 2008, Acquaviva 2008, Wiltschko 2008, Alexiadou 2011). The focus of this paper is the intricate plural system of Amharic (Ethiosemitic), where there is considerable evidence that plural morphology is split between two heads: Num and the nominalizing head n. The paper thus provides further empirical evidence that the morphosyntax of plurality does not only involve Num, and also develops a novel Distributed Morphology analysis of the relationship between 'idiosyncratic' plurality and conventional plurality within the same language.
Proceedings of the 30th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Nathan Arnett and Ryan Bennett
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