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Title:Much ado about nothing: Features and zeroes in Germanic noun phrases.
Authors:Kersti Borjars, Mark Donohue
Comment:50 pages. Word file requires IPAKiel font
Abstract:Much ado about nothing: features and zeroes in Germanic noun phrases

Kersti Börjars and Mark Donohue

University of Manchester and University of Sydney

In this paper, we argue for a severely restricted use of zero

morphemes and against the use of features which are not strictly

motivated by the distribution of the element with which the feature

is assumed to be associated. We consider an element to have a

particular value for a feature only if the element in question can

occur exclusively in environments where that feature value is present

on some other element and never in environments where that feature

has another value. We apply this definition of features and feature

values to noun phrases in Germanic, particularly to Dutch and Danish.

We use Optimality Theory in conjunction with our approach to features

and values and show that in this way, the distribution of features

relating to definiteness, number and gender can be correctly

predicted for these languages. We then consider the consequences this

view of features has for the choice of an approach to morphology.
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1