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A working typology of multiple exponence*

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Abstract

The authors present the results of a preliminary investigation of the range of cross-linguistic variation of Multiple Exponence (ME), the occurrence of multiple realizations of a single feature, bundle of features, or derivational category in more than one position in a domain. Their survey of ME patterns documented in 95 language varieties belonging to 25 language families reveals that while there is great diversity in terms of the properties that ME patterns may display, ME is more common and less constrained than commonly believed. Specifically, the survey reveals the following generalizations: (i) while exuberant ME, the repetition of several identical markers, may be uncommon, ME patterns involving stem alternation are quite common; (ii) while occurrence of three or more markers seems to be uncommon, occurrence of two is quite frequent; and (iii) there do not seem to be many constraints on the types of ME attested, in either formal or semantic terms, though there are very few documented cases of contiguous stacking of surface identical allomorphs in ME.

References

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