De paucalis in het Nederlands en de structuur van de grammatica | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
2004
Volume 28, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1384-5845
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1171

Abstract

Abstract

In general linguistics, a paucal is a specific construction that only allows for insertion of the lowest numerals (), e.g. the Russian + N., which only allows the numerals 2-4 (Pesetsky 2009). In this paper it is argued that also Dutch shows paucal effects in at least three constructions with numerals: (i) the + + + N construction, (ii) the + construction, and (iii) the historical + construction. The third paucal construction, which is related to the modern quantitative construction, which lacks the paucal effect, takes us to the origins and nature of the paucal. Following traditional grammarians who assume a connection of quantitative with the genitive ending (Bech 1952; van der Horst 2009), we are led to the conclusion that extraction of the genitive morpheme to the verbal domain cancels the paucal effect. This brings us to an interpretive rule of paucality that an inflected at the surface triggers the paucal restriction.

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