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The Catalan Definite Article as Lexical Sharing

Alex Alsina


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This paper argues for the claim that the definite article (d-article) in Catalan is a bound morpheme that adds its information about grammatical category to that of the host it forms a compound with. In this way, the derived compound satisfies two X0 categories in the c-structure, in an instance of lexical sharing (Wescoat 2002). The present proposal is shown to be superior to alternatives that, while assuming bound morpheme status for the d-article, assume a single category for the word that contains the d-article (as in Miller 1992 for French). The crucial evidence is provided by potentially boundless sequences in which the d-article and weak prepositions are adjacent to each other. Only a theory that recognizes the status of these elements as bound morphemes that add a grammatical category to the word they are part of correctly accounts for the relevant evidence.

Link to pdf of paper

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