Mario Wild

The diachrony of the noun’s third declension in Romanesco. A non-canonical history

  • Abstract

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Keywords: nominal inflection; overabundance; canonical typology.

This paper provides some observations on the inflectional behaviour of third declension nouns in the history of Romanesco. Analysing data from a chronologically broad corpus of texts (13th-20th century), it can be shown that the original ending -i soon found itself in competition with analogical -e in feminine nouns. The empirical data allow for some theoretical considerations including the interaction between gender and nominal inflection, as well as the difference between controller and target inflection (analogical -e for feminine plural established itself earlier and more systematically with second declension adjectives). Finally, elaborating on previous studies in the framework of canonical typology, the paper tries to insert the particular case of Romanesco into a broader perspective, measuring its distance from the canonical ideal.

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