Case-driven plural suppletion in Barguzin Buryat: *ABA versus case containment
Colin Davis
July 2019

This paper examines the significance plural suppletion in Barguzin Buryat (Mongolic, Russia). This suppletion pattern is of interest because it displays what some recent work on allomorphy and the internal structure of case morphology considers an “ABA” distribution, which is predicted to be unattested. In particular, this suppletion is ABA because it occurs in accusative (and genitive) environments, but not oblique ones. This paper explains this unexpected pattern by arguing that it in fact arises from an independent conflict: oblique morphology is mutually exclusive with the suppletive plural in this language because the latter is a portmanteau of several features, some of which oblique marking also depends on. Hence the two cannot be expressed simultaneously. Thus a superficially problematic pattern arises in Barguzin Buryat due to what is in essence, a paradigm gap. If the theories under discussion are correct about the decomposition of case, and the mechanisms that ban ABA patterns under normal circumstances, then we indeed expect any ABA pattern to stem from an additional idiosyncratic factor, as this paper argues for Barguzin Buryat.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004504
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: submitted
keywords: case, suppletion, aba, morphology, syntax
previous versions: v1 [March 2019]
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