A Note on Breton Pluralization and the Elsewhere Condition


Anderson (1986) has argued that Breton ‘double plurals’, though apparently disconfirming the Elsewhere Condition, can be brought into conformity with it if they are viewed as deriving from basic collective nouns rather than from plural nouns. This solution is here shown to be unworkable: on the one hand, certain double plurals derive from forms with transparently plural morphology; moreover double plurals counterexemplify the Elsewhere Condition even if they are assumed to derive from basic collectives, since the latter are not distinct in their morphosyntactic feature content from ordinary plurals. Plural diminutives present similar difficulties, since their formation requires the successive application of two rules whose application is predicted by the Elsewhere Condition to be disjunctive. Besides suggesting that the Elsewhere Condition cannot be maintained in its strongest form, the Breton evidence raises questions about the existence of a strict division between inflectional and derivational morphology.

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