Composti V+N e genere grammaticale in romeno

 

Michele Loporcaro

Abstract

The paper addresses the long-standing issue of the number of values of the morphosyntactic category gender in Romanian, and argues in favour of a three-gender analysis. This is done capitalizing on one domain of empirical evidence, that ot V+N compounds. These compound nouns select the kind of alternating gender agreement (masculine singular/feminine plural) which characterizes the neuter gender under three-gender analyses. The fact that these nouns do not show the inflections (notably, plural ‑e and ‑uri) of the productive noun inflection classes to which neuter nouns are otherwise assigned shows the productivity of the neuter (i.e., of the corresponding agreement class per se) and is hence used as an argument against two-gender analyses that deny the existence of the neuter gender and reduce the alternating agreement selected by what is labelled traditionally as neuter nouns to an automatic consequence of the inflectional morphology of the relevant nouns.

 

Keywords: Grammatical gender • noun inflection • productivity • compounds

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