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Phonology and morphology in Dutch indefinite determiner syncretism: Spatial and quantitative perspectives

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 January 2014

Meredith Tamminga*
University of Pennsylvania, Department of Linguistics, Williams Hall, Philadelphia
*Adderss for correspondence: Meredith Tamminga, University of Pennsylvania, Department of Linguistics, Williams Hall, 255 S. 46th St. Philadelphia, PA 19104; 814-321-7062 (Email


This paper uses dialect data to disentangle the contributions of phonology and morphology to the emergence of gender syncretism in the Dutch determiner paradigm. Quantitative and spatio-statistical analyses are used to identify an inverse relationship between phonological erosion and adoption of the innovative syncretic system, counter to expectation. That inverse relationship is shown to obscure the parallel development of the determiners in masculine and feminine contexts, leading to the suggestion that the syncretism results from a single morphological change triggered by phonological variability.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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