7. Bare nouns in Palenquero
The present article argues that the traditional accounts of Palenquero's article system are fundamentally flawed. Schwegler's revisionist analysis is largely based on data he had collected <i>in situ</i>, but also relies on Moñino (in press), who similarly questions the traditional accounts of the Palenquero article system. Mo ñ 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 ñ ino's analysis of Palenquero <i>ma</i>, and to outline why they – independently so – 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 “transnumeral.” As will become apparent, Mo ñ ino's and Schwegler's findings coincide on several major points of grammar, but differ on the more theoretical issue concerning the genesis of <i>ma</i>.