Case-driven plural suppletion in Barguzin Buryat: *ABA versus case containment
Colin Davis
November 2020
 

This paper examines plural suppletion in Barguzin Buryat (Mongolic, Russia), which occurs only in accusative and genitive noun phrases. The restricted distribution of this process, in particular its absence in oblique case contexts, is significant for recent research on allomorphy and the feature structure of case morphology. For much work in this vein, this form of suppletion would qualify as an “ABA” pattern, which is predicted to be unattested. Here I argue that the suppletive plural morpheme in this language is a portmanteau that expresses some of the features upon which oblique morphology also depends, thus preventing these two forms from cooccurring. Hence this suppletive plural superficially has an ABA distribution due to a paradigm gap stemming from a morphological conflict. Consequently, this pattern does not falsify the morphological theories that ban ABA patterns under normal circumstances, but rather reveals a principled exception to them. This investigation also reveals new evidence that case features have an implicational containment relationship, and that syntactic structures can sometimes fail to be uttered.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004504
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Revised 11/28/2020
keywords: case, suppletion, aba, morphology, syntax
previous versions: v4 [November 2020]
v3 [November 2019]
v2 [July 2019]
v1 [March 2019]
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