Paradigmatic saturation in Nuer
Matthew Baerman, Irina Monich
January 2021

Nouns in Nuer (Western Nilotic) nouns have been presented as an extreme example of inflectional complexity, where a ‘chaotic’ distribution of suffixes combines with dozens of different stem modifications to yield dozens of inflection classes, (Frank 1999, Baerman 2012). We show that all of the apparent surface variety can be reduced a handful of operations. The proliferation of inflection classes is due to a property we call PARADIGMATIC SATURATION: practically every combination of inflectional operations is attested, yielding the maximum variety with the minimum of means.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005767
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Language (to appear)
keywords: : inflection class, paradigms, morphophonology, allomorphy, nilotic, morphology
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