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Structural patterns blocking plural in Romance nominalizations

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Abstract

Some Complex Event Nominals (CENs) like the Romanian infinitive contradict the generalization in Grimshaw (1990) according to which CENs do not pluralize. But many CENs like the Romanian supine and the Spanish nominal infinitive obey this generalization. In this paper we explain the availability and the blocking of pluralization in relation to the internal structure of the CEN. We argue that pluralization in CENs is blocked by the syntactic encoding of the unbounded outer or inner aspect. The Romanian supine projects a verbal structure with a [–bounded] (outer) Aspect projection. In the Spanish nominal infinitive, the unbounded/atelic inner aspect is accommodated by a [–count] Classifier projection in a nominal structure. Both patterns prevent the projection of Number, and thus, pluralization. But this does not exclude the availability of plural for CENs with a bounded/telic inner aspect which project a [+count] ClassifierP and implicitly, NumberP, as in the case of Romanian infinitival CENs.

References

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