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Bangla Associative Plural -ra: A Cross-linguistic Comparison with Chinese men and Japanese -tachi
Priyanka Biswas
56-65 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper compares the Bangla associative plural marker -ra with Mandarin Chinese men and Japanese -tachi, with a particular focus on the indefinite-definite interpretations and compatibility of associative plurals with generic predicates. On the basis of crosslinguistic similarity with other associative plurals, Bangla -ra has been argued to be categorically different from classifiers and regular plural markers in the language. New data suggest that the associative plurals are not restricted to particular definite or indefinite interpretation, contrary to the previous view. A uniform syntactic structure for the associative plurals of these languages is proposed. It argues that the associative plurals are merged higher than the DP. Additionally, the compatibility of the Bangla capacity nouns (kinship and profession names) in the characterizing predicates provides evidence for a more complex semantic architecture. The paper thus outlines an alternative analysis of the associative plurals with reference to capacity nouns, genericity and (in)definite interpretations.

Published in

Proceedings of the 31st West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Robert E. Santana-LaBarge
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00