Author Topic: An "inflectional" suffix that is not required  (Read 6195 times)

Offline zaba

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An "inflectional" suffix that is not required
« on: March 06, 2014, 12:50:25 AM »
So imagine a language with a plural nominal suffix. However, a crucial detail is that plurality is only optionally marked in this language (well, there is a subset of very specific  contexts plurality is mandatory).

Is it still correct to claim that this suffix is part of the inflectional morphology?

Offline Daniel

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Re: An "inflectional" suffix that is not required
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 10:10:27 AM »
Certainly worth noting, but I don't see why that would make it derivational.

Plural agreement in Turkish is similar: 3PL is optional and only used (at least according to my class) for clarification-- if the subject is clearly plural already, the verb is just in the bare (3SG) form, but if it might be ambiguous, then it is explicitly marked as 3PL. Oddly enough, that suffix (-lar / -ler [vowel harmony]) actually goes in different places than other agreement suffixes to a small degree. For example, it operates a little differently with negation.

It's something to explore in detail, but I think it's still part of inflection.
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