LLF – Bât. ODG – 5e étage – Salle du conseil (533)
Lucie Janků (LLF/UPC)
The Nanosyntax of Czech Nominal Declensions
The talk proposes an account for suffix allomorphy in the Czech nominal domain in the singular. Czech, among other Slavic languages, is notoriously known for its complex morphological system of nouns. Any attempt for an account has to answer at least two questions. First, what mechanism ensures the correct pairing of the root with its suffix. And second, what the relationship is between paradigm cells with the same form. The framework of Nanosyntax offers tools to handle both questions. Its phrasal spellout and the spellout algorithm suggest that the difference between paradigms is that different roots spell out different subsets of features. Depending on what subset they spell out, they will then be complemented by different suffixes. The second part of the account stands on Element Theory. It allows us to make sense of the fact that many paradigms in Czech have an apparent relationship with each other despite taking different sets of suffixes. The relationship seems to boil down to the palatalized/non-palatalized distinction. We argue that these paradigms are, in fact, underlyingly the same and that it is phonology concealing their identity. The Element Theory decomposition significantly simplifies the labyrinth of affixes and allows us to elucidate their relationships.