Thomas Stolz, Maja Robbers
December 20, 2016
This paper compares the role played by suppletion and a selection of other morphological form-function mismatches in the paradigms of ordinal numerals in the languages of Europe and Mesoamerica. The focus is on identifying the similarities and dissimilarities of those properties which are typical of the two (macro-)regions. The paradigmatic relations of ordinals are looked at in horizontal and vertical perspective. It is argued that suppletive first is a cross-linguistically autonomous phenomenon whereas suppletive second marks an areal preference of a sizable group of languages in Europe. In addition to proper suppletion of stems, there are also combinations of suppletion and derivation. Furthermore, it is shown that in the absence of stem suppletion, certain ordinals of a paradigm may reflect construction types which differ from that of the bulk of the other members of the same paradigm and thus contribute to the heterogeneity of the paradigm.