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Slavic Grammar from a Formal Perspective

The 10th Anniversary FDSL Conference, Leipzig 2013


Edited By Gerhild Zybatow, Petr Biskup, Marcel Guhl, Claudia Hurtig, Olav Mueller-Reichau and Maria Yastrebova

The proceedings of the 10 th European Conference on Formal Description of Slavic Languages in Leipzig 2013 offer current formal investigations into Slavic morphology, phonology, semantics, syntax and information structure. In addition to papers of the main conference, the volume presents those of two special workshops: «Formal Perspectives and Diachronic Change in Slavic Languages» and «Various Aspects of Heritage Language». The following languages are addressed: Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS), Bulgarian, Czech, Macedonian, Old Church Slavonic, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Resian, Slovak and Slovene.
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Sums, groups, genders, and Polish numerals


← 494 | 495 →Marcin Wągiel

Palacký University, Olomouc; Masaryk University, Brno

It has been recently observed by Dočekal (2012, 2013) that Slavic numeral morphology seems to reflect some of the shifting operators postulated in the kind-oriented and plurality-oriented theories of Chierchia (1998) and Landman (2000). Although Dočekal presents convincing novel data and captures semantic differences between different classes of Czech numerals, his analysis does not explain in detail how meanings of morphologically complex numerals derive. In this paper I argue in favor of the compositionality of derivationally complex numerals that count objects in Slavic on the basis of Polish data. Following Wągiel (2014), I propose that it is always the root that defines the cardinality of counted entities, different suffixes, however, modify the meaning of a numeral by introducing additional semantic information, specifically they determine what type of objects a numeral counts.

This paper is organized as follows. In Section 2 I present three classes of Polish numerals that count objects and discuss their semantic properties. In Section 3 I introduce theoretical tools, which can be useful to model the semantics of plural expressions in natural language, i.e., the plurality framework of Landman (2000) and the theory of Krifka (1995). In Section 4 I propose semantic interpretations of numerals’ roots and derivational suffixes occurring in the morphological make-up of Polish numerals in question. In Section 5 I discuss more data which support the proposed semantics. Section 6 concludes the article.

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