University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


Jenny Lee


This paper investigates morphological alternation between so-called extended and restricted roots in Ranmo, leading to a new proposal about the nature of pluractional predicates. Extended roots show properties associated with ‘pluractional’ verbs attested crosslinguistically; in particular, they are associated with both plural participant and iterative interpretations. However, they differ from typical pluractionals in the following two ways: (i) they are not morphologically formed on the basis of their restricted counterparts (which are associated with singular, punctual readings) and (ii) they are compatible with numeric modifiers. I propose that these differences can be understood under the proposal that all pluractionals obligatorily involve two components which are always distinctly represented in the semantics—PL(ural) and DEG(ree). The latter contributes a large quantity (as opposed to a simple plural) reading. However, languages vary with respect to whether these two can form a single syntactic unit (and hence be bundled into a single morpheme). This predicts a simple typology in which only a subset of so-called pluractional verbs yield a necessarily large quantity reading.