Kučerová (2018) puts forward a novel theory of the morphology and interpretation of nominal gender in Italian. Here, we take issue with this theory from both empirical and theoretical standpoints. We first show that several generalizations presented as empirical support for it are incorrect. We then point out three fundamental theoretical challenges. First, the proposed three-way classification of nouns does not represent the full range of facts, because it does not take into account plural morphology or the interdependencies of class and gender features. Second, the account of gender mismatch in terms of “semiconservativity” fails to capture the Italian data, once the full paradigm is considered. Finally, the use of phase theory to model contextual valuation of gender faces an insurmountable lookahead problem.
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October 06 2022
The Representation of Gender and Inflectional Class in Italian: A Reply to Kučerová 2018
In Special Collection: CogNet
Online Issn: 1530-9150
Print Issn: 0024-3892
© 2022 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Linguistic Inquiry 1–20.
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Pietro Baggio, Yasutada Sudo; The Representation of Gender and Inflectional Class in Italian: A Reply to Kučerová 2018. Linguistic Inquiry 2022; doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/ling_a_00457
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