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Title: Future, conditional and autonomous morphology in Occitan
Author: Esher, Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2740 6393
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Occitan presents a complex inflectional paradigm together with extensive regional variation, thus offering a rich source of morphological data; as the present study demonstrates, these data are of significant value both to morphological theory and to comparative Romance linguistics. The study is concerned with the form and meaning of two categories within the Occitan verb paradigm, the ‘synthetic future’ (SF) and ‘synthetic conditional’ (SC) derived from the Latin periphrastic constructions CANTARE HABEO and CANTARE HABEBAM respectively. In Romance languages which present this type of future and conditional, SF and SC typically share a stem: due to their parallel origin, it is often assumed that this identity of stem is unremarkable, and that it diagrams a common semantic value, usually that of temporal futurity. However, careful examination of the Occitan data reveals that both these assumptions are overly simplistic. While the semantic values associated with SF and SC in varieties of Occitan certainly overlap to some extent, this functional commonality is not absolute, nor does the distribution of semantic values map exactly to the distribution of stems within the paradigm. Furthermore, while in the majority of cases SF and SC do share a stem, Occitan also presents a phenomenon which may be unique within Romance, that of ‘asymmetrical’ stem distribution, in which the stems of the SF and SC are distinct from one another. The distribution of stems between SF and SC in Occitan can only be adequately explained by appealing both to semantic motivations and to the purely formal motivations of autonomous morphology. The phenomena discussed here show that autonomous morphology can interact with extramorphological factors, and, as a consequence, that an autonomously morphological element may be present even in morphological phenomena which prima facie appear extramorphologically motivated.
Supervisor: Maiden, Martin ; Smith, John Charles Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Linguistics ; Romance languages ; Occitan ; French ; morphology ; Occitan ; autonomous morphology ; morphome