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Open Access Morphosyntactic features and paradigmatic uniformity in two dialectal varieties of the island of Lesvos

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Morphosyntactic features and paradigmatic uniformity in two dialectal varieties of the island of Lesvos

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This paper discusses data from the nominal paradigms of two dialectal varieties of East Lesvos, those of Thermi and Pamfila. It is shown that there is abundant evidence for the key role of the paradigm in the phonological realization of the [noun-clitic] clusters. We argue that the grammars of these dialectal varieties must crucially include constraints that require identity between related surface forms in the [noun-clitic] paradigm. This proposal has received considerable support by independent work, carried out mainly within Optimality Theory, in various languages. The Lesvian dialectal varieties, however, allow us to probe deeper into the precise statement of such intra-paradigmatic identity constraints. We show, first, that the identity constraints holding among various surface forms must have a limited domain of application, circumscribed by the forms of the paradigm and only those. Second, we show that intra-paradigmatic identity constraints do not require identity uniformly among all surface forms of the paradigm. Rather, distinct identity constraints hold between distinct forms. For instance, the identity constraint between the {+first person, +singular} and the {+third person, +singular} is different from that holding between the {+first person, +singular} and the {+first person, +plural}. We argue, specifically, that the network of such intra-paradigmatic identity constraints is projected on the basis of shared morphosyntactic features along the dimensions of Person and Number that enter into the construction of the paradigm.


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