On Plurals, noun phrase and num(ber)
in Moroccan Arabic and Djibouti Somali
In this paper, we focus on plural nouns in two Afroasiatic languages: Moroccan Arabic and Djibouti Somali. Within a syntactic approach to word formation, we show that not all plurals are located in the same syntactic position. In Moroccan Arabic, one plural results from the merger of a root with the head <i>n</i>, whereas the other realizes a feature on the <i>number</i> head. In a similar way, Somali displays two suffixal plurals, which realize two distinct syntactic structures. One suffix is associated to numP and behaves as a regular plural suffix; in contrast, the other suffix is analyzed as a bound root that selects for xPs (nP or numP) containing the feminine gender.