7. Bare nouns in Palenquero

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The present article argues that the traditional accounts of Palenquero&#39;s article system are fundamentally flawed. Schwegler&#39;s revisionist analysis is largely based on data he had collected <i>in situ</i>, but also relies on Mo&#241;ino (in press), who similarly questions the traditional accounts of the Palenquero article system. Mo &#241; ino and Schwegler have reached a consensus as regards two key points: in their view, (1) Palenquero has noun phrases consisting of just a bare noun; and (2) a striking property of these bare nouns is their non-specification for number (they are neither singular nor plural). One of the objectives of this study is to offer a comparison between Schwegler and Mo &#241; ino&#39;s analysis of Palenquero <i>ma</i>, and to outline why they &#8211; independently so &#8211; reject the traditional views on the matter. In so doing, Schwegler shows that the Palenquero lexicon emphasizes the role of <i>context</i> rather than overt morphology or lexical structure. This new approach represents a radical departure from earlier analyses, as it renders all Palenquero nouns &#8220;transnumeral.&#8221; As will become apparent, Mo &#241; ino&#39;s and Schwegler&#39;s findings coincide on several major points of grammar, but differ on the more theoretical issue concerning the genesis of <i>ma</i>.


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