Associative Plurality and the DP/NP typology

Rebecca Lewis


This paper investigates the phenomenon of additive plural morphology being used to denote the associative plural in a variety of languages. A novel empirical generalization is proposed: Languages with identical additive and associative plural morphology lack free standing definite articles. This follows a line of generalizations made by Boskovic (2008, 2012), who argues that languages without free standing definite articles do not project the DP layer, though the proposed generalization groups affixal article languages with languages without articles (see also Talic (2017)). I propose a new analysis of associative plurals that yields the empirical generalization for free. I argue that Num, the position of additive plural morphology, moves to Associative, which heads a projection on top of the nominal domain. This movement operation is blocked by the presence of D/DP in free standing definite article languages.


Associative plurality; Num; head movement; typology; articles

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Copyright (c) 2021 Rebecca Lewis

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