, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 59-86
Date: 31 Jul 2009

Where does heteroclisis come from? Evidence from Romanian dialects

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This study examines some cases of heteroclisis in the history of Romanian dialects, and concludes that the data call for a reconsideration of Stump’s distinction (Language 82:279–322, 2006) between ‘cloven’ heteroclisis, where the intraparadigmatic ‘split’ is aligned with some morphosyntactic feature distinction, and ‘fractured’ heteroclisis, where this is not the case and the pattern of heteroclisis is purely morphological. Stump’s account creates the impression that the ‘cloven’ variety is universally predominant, and that the ‘fractured’ variety tends to follow very closely the available ‘cloven’ patterns of the language. I shall suggest, instead, that the ‘fractured-only’ situation may in fact underlie heteroclisis cross-linguistically, the phenomenon being in general sensitive not directly to morphosyntactic content, but rather to characteristic, and often purely ‘morphomic’, patterns of stem-allomorphy.

Research for this paper was undertaken as part of the Arts and Humantities Research Council-funded project Autonomous Morphology in Diachrony: comparative evidence from the Romance Languages, currently being conducted at Oxford University.