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      Interface Legibility and Nominal Classification: A Nanosyntactic Account of Kipsigis Singulatives

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      Glossa: a journal of general linguistics
      Open Library of the Humanities

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          Abstract

          Under a superset-based approach to spellout (Caha 2009; Starke 2009), a vocabulary item characterizes a set of PF-legible syntactic objects. The consequence is a dynamic, configurational and vocabulary-driven notion of a feature’s (un)interpretability at PF, that gives rise to the possibility of spellout-driven movement (Starke 2018). In this case study, I employ this to reinterpret Kouneli’s (2021) analysis of the tripartite number-based system of nominal classification found in Kipsigis. While Kouneli’s analysis makes use of uninterpretable classificatory features to derive the classes, I derive the classes from the restrictions on PF-legibility imposed the vocabulary items themselves, thus providing an explanatory account of the PF-legibility of particular number properties from a general theory of PF interpretation. This account also solves the issue raised by Alexiadou & Müller (2008) who show that introducing declension class feature in the syntax or at PF are both problematic for the Y-model. Since the proposal I argue for here disbands such features in favor of a configurational analysis of noun class, it shows the potential for resolving a serious conceptual issue.

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Glossa: a journal of general linguistics
                Open Library of the Humanities
                2397-1835
                January 14 2022
                September 22 2022
                : 7
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]New York University
                Article
                10.16995/glossa.5825
                21e0bd70-6bcd-4cb9-8a74-51ece3a31a7b
                © 2022

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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