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ERIC Number: ED285387
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
The Semantics of Pluralization in Spanish.
Prado, Marcial
Selecta, v7 p1-8 1986
Analysis of examples of abstract and concrete nouns reveals that pluralization in Spanish is a complex phenomenon from the semantic point of view. The number of abstract negative nouns being pluralized far outweighs that of their positive counterparts. Syntactic pluralization of abstracts implies a semantic change, and sometimes the pluralization of the abstract noun, both positive and negative, carries a drastic change in meaning. The negative semantic feature seems to provide a greater degree of individualization and concretization, facilitating combination of the semantic category with the lexical category of number. The pluralization of concrete nouns is even more complex. In nouns representing things composed of several parts (e.g., "viveres,""calores"), the plural reminds us of the parts and conveys a more complete semantic detail. In some cases, there is a noticeable semantic change (e.g., "esposas" for handcuffs or wives), and it is unclear why some concrete nouns are pluralized. A negative or pejorative connotation accompanies some syntactic plurals, and others give conflicting signs of markedness and gender. Further, the exclusive use of pluralized nouns in some idioms, where the noun's ordinary meaning has completely changed, suggests that semantic pluralization is more complex than the addition of a morpheme to the singular form. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A