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The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages$
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Adam Ledgeway and Martin Maiden

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199677108

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199677108.001.0001

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(p.697) Chapter 42 Number
The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages

Martin Maiden

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses some of the most important issues in the expression of number in the Romance nominal system. It covers the origin of the plural inflectional endings (particularly ‘sigmatic’ vs ‘vocalic’ endings, and remnants of Latin nominative plural desinences); the fate of the Latin neuter plural endings (with especial attention to the so-called ‘neuter’ or ‘ambigeneric’ nouns of Daco-Romance and Italo-Romance); ‘collective’ plurals in Romansh and their morphological status; root allomorphy and suppletion in plural formation; neutralization of number distinctions (invariance); analogical effects of plurals on singulars (and vice versa).

Keywords:   number, inflectional endings, root allomorphy, gender, suppletion

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