top of page

Shared Interests Group

Public·8 members

Overabundance ##TOP##

Dobelli holds the view that this gushing torrent of news that we consume on a daily basis is actually toxic to us and that this overabundance of information is equally hazardous to our health as an overabundance of food, which can result in diabetes and obesity. He believes that the news makes us passive and kills our creative spirit. Dobelli questions our modern desire for immediacy, our need to know about an event in real time, arguing that true insight and understanding takes time and benefits from the lens of hindsight. For the past 4 years, he's elected to do without this daily onslaught of news flashes, preferring instead to read books and long magazine articles about world events, which benefit from true investigative journalism.


Population overabundance can have a negative impact on the environment, and in some cases on the public as well. There are various methods through which populations can be controlled such as hunting, contraception, chemical controls, disease and genetic modification. Overabundant species is an important area of research as it can potentially impact the biodiversity of ecosystems.

Eutrophication sets off a chain reaction in the ecosystem, starting with an overabundance of algae and plants. The excess algae and plant matter eventually decompose, producing large amounts of carbon dioxide. This lowers the pH of seawater, a process known as ocean acidification. Acidification slows the growth of fish and shellfish and can prevent shell formation in bivalve mollusks. This leads to a reduced catch for commercial and recreational fisheries, meaning smaller harvests and more expensive seafood.

Overabundance is the situation where two or more distinct word forms fill the same cell in an inflectional paradigm (Thornton 2011). While this topic has received renewed attention in recent years, there are still several open questions regarding its properties and status. In this paper we present a new take on the matter. On the basis of a case study of the locative singular and instrumental plural of Czech nouns, we argue that there are at least two kinds of overabundance phenomena which should be distinguished, depending on whether overabundant behavior integrates in the inflection system or is orthogonal to it. The evidence for the distinction comes from a quantitative study of the way phonological, morphosyntactic, semantic, and sociolinguistic factors contribute to partially predicting whether a lexeme is overabundant and which form is used in different contexts.

One aspect of the typology of overabundance that Thornton does not discuss in detail is its interaction with the system of inflectional classification. Inflectional systems of any complexity exhibit differential inflectional behavior, where lexemes of the same part of speech use different marking strategies to contrast the forms filling cells of their inflectional paradigm. Systems of inflection classes are the tool of choice to explicate such variability, and recent research has highlighted how such systems are organized (Corbett & Fraser 1993; Dressler & Thornton 1996; Brown & Hippisley 2012; Beniamine, Bonami & Sagot 2017; Beniamine 2021) and how they tend to be partially but not fully motivated by other lexical properties (Aronoff 1994; Baayen & Moscoso del Prado Martín 2005; Guzmán Naranjo 2019). Overabundance may interact with inflectional classification in a variety of ways. In the extreme case of systematic overabundance in Spanish imperfective subjunctives illustrated in (1), there is no interaction to speak of, since all lexemes are overabundant and overabundance manifests itself through the use of the exact same exponents across the lexicon. However this is not the only possibility. Even where overabundance is systematic, it may rely on different marking strategies depending on the inflection class. Where overabundance is found with a restricted set of lexemes, it interacts by definition with inflectional classification (it leads to differential inflectional behavior), but there are different conceivable ways in which it may do so. In particular, we may ask whether overabundant classes have the usual properties of inflection classes in terms of partial motivation.

In this paper we present a case study of two situations of overabundance in Czech nominal declension: occasional overabundance in the locative singular, and systematic overabundance in the instrumental plural. We deploy various quantitative techniques applied to lexical and corpus data to show how overabundance is embedded in the inflection class system in the first case, but orthogonal to that system in the second.

The structure of the paper is as follows. In Section 2 we present background information on the Czech declension system and how it is affected by overabundance. Section 3 presents a first study arguing for a qualitative difference between the two cases of overabundance: building on previous work on inflectional classification, we show that overabundant lexemes exhibit a specific pattern of partial motivation in the locative singular, suggesting that overabundant lexemes constitute a mixed class sharing properties with two classes of non-overabundant lexemes. By contrast, no such effect can be found in the instrumental plural. Section 4 presents a complementary study of the relationship between overabundance and case government in the locative singular. We document the fact that governing prepositions have preferences as to which variant of an overabundant lexeme they combine with, although no such effect can be found with non-overabundant lexemes. This indicates that, despite their mixed status in terms of motivation, overabundant lexemes form a class whose properties are not reducible to those of its non-overabundant neighbors. Hence they constitute a robust member of the inflection class system. Section 5 concludes the paper.

Table 1 already illustrates the pervasive presence of overabundance in Czech declension, with 6 out of 14 paradigm cells having multiple forms for at least some nouns in this very small sample. It also illustrates the important fact that overabundant cells typically exploit case-number suffixes also found with non-overabundant lexemes. For instance, the dative singular of HOST has two forms, combining the inflection strategies independently found with TÁTA on the one hand (-ovi) and MOST on the other hand (-u). Finally, it is worth noting that while some cases of overabundance are inflection class dependent, overabundance is systematic in the instrumental plural: all nouns exhibit two distinct marking strategies, one of them involving the vowel /i/ (written as or ) potentially preceded by some material, the other the sequence -ma, also potentially preceded by some material.

To get a better grasp of the importance of the phenomenon, we quantified the overall lexical prevalence of overabundance using attestations in corpus data. We used version 4 of the SYN corpus (Křen et al. 2016), a tagged and lemmatized 4.3 billion token corpus of edited text published between 1989 and 2014; see Hnátková et al. (2014) for a detailed description.6 Note that, this being a corpus of edited text, more informal Common Czech forms are underrepresented in the corpus, although by no means absent, as we will discuss in Section 2.4.

The locative singular is home to a number of overabundance phenomena. We focus our presentation on the situation of hard masculine inanimate nouns, although similar points could be made about other parts of the system, and we will present some relevant analysis in section 3. Hard masculine inanimate nouns may use two different endings in the LOC.SG: -u or -ě.8 Some nouns are attested with both, and are hence overabundant.9

To get a better grasp of this situation of overabundance, we examine how the proportion of use of -u vs. -ě varies across lexemes. Figure 1 shows the distribution of these proportions for lexemes attested at least 100 times in the corpus in the LOC.SG,10 and at least once with each of the two exponents.

Such a story is appealing, as it explains away apparent overabundance. However, it makes a clear prediction that happens to be falsified. If the hypothesis was true, then the likelihood of a lexeme being seen with a balanced distribution of forms should decrease with the frequency of the lexeme. In other words, lexemes with balanced proportions of -u or -ě should have a markedly lower frequency than lexemes on the borders. As Figure 2 shows, this is not the case: the median frequency of lexemes with a more balanced distribution is not noticeably lower than that of lexemes with an imbalanced distribution.

After establishing that overabundance is highly prevalent in Czech nominal declension, we have focused on two particular cases that contrast in multiple dimensions. In the locative singular of hard masculine inanimate nouns, a minority of nouns are overabundant, while in the instrumental plural all nouns are overabundant. Proportions of use of the two forms in the corpus follows a U-shape for the former, and an L-shape in the latter. This is linked to the fact that the choice of form in the instrumental plural is clearly subject to sociolinguistic conditioning, while this is not obviously the case in the locative singular.

In the remainder of this paper we turn to our main topic: how does overabundance interact with inflectional classification? In section 2, we examine the predictability of overabundance: we show that, in the locative singular, the overabundant character of a noun is predictable from its stem shape and distribution, while this is not the case in the instrumental plural. In section 4, we examine the relationship between syntactic usage and overabundance: we show that overabundant locative singular nouns exhibit singular properties that are not found with their non-overabundant counterparts. Both studies lead to the conclusion that some, but not all, overabundance phenomena should be treated in terms of the postulation of a specific overabundant inflection class. 041b061a72


Welcome to the group! You can connect with other members, ge...
Group Page: Groups_SingleGroup
bottom of page