Inflectional Identity (Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics)

Paradigmatic generalization of morphemes
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However, if kick is not a verb, but rather a category-less root, is it sensible to claim that it selects a complement of a particular type, or that it assigns roles to event arguments? Equally important are issues which concern phonological realization.

While typically assumed to be syntactically inert and potentially listed, it nonetheless remains the case that syntactic properties do impact phonological realization e. How to model the relevant interaction between realization and syntax in the case of roots, however, remains at least prima facie unclear. Again, an illustration may be helpful.

Within traditional accounts, broke emerges in past tense contexts through consultation with the lexical entry of the verb break. But if break is a category-less root, rather than a verb, where could the relevant information be stored? Introduction 3 In the past ten years, and within the community of scholars who subscribe to the view that category-less terminals are syntactically useful, distinct answers have emerged to some of these questions.

The purpose of this volume is to bring some of these differing perspectives together, in the hope of elucidating what the empirical consequences of the differing perspectives are, specifically on the way in which different conceptions of roots bear on the construction of syntactic objects. Within generative linguistics, the term root has been most dominantly used in the context of word formation, where it is frequently identified with the notion stem but see Aronoff for some comments on the use of the term.

Roots, as thus used, are a minimal morpho-phonological base unit, where by base we refer specifically to an intransitive core, which may then merge with affixes, themselves, in the relevant sense, transitive. Within the historically prevailing traditions in generative linguistics, however, dog is a licit syntactic terminal, whereas struct is not. It is not clear what category it is, if any, and it cannot be meaningfully claimed to exercise any selection, be it categorial or thematic.

As such, then, it is not a licit syntactic object. We note as an aside that in Chomsky , objects which are category-less but which have selection properties are syntactically licit objects.

Suppose, however, we dispense with the assumption that listed terminals come with a syntactic category. A number of important potential questions and conse- quences emerge immediately. The first set of questions concerns the formal nature of roots. Harking back to an important debate within research on word formation and lexical representatins, roots are fundamentally syntactico-semantic in nature and thus on a par with Lexemes, as in Beard and others , or, to the contrary, are they fundamentally phonological in nature, as in Aronoff ?


More Info: co-edited with Luis M. Find out more about your rights as a buyer - opens in a new window or tab and exceptions - opens in a new window or tab. Google Scholar. In Yearbook of morphology pp. Popular Music and Society. Lingua , 92 , 7—

And are they, possibly, a conjunction of semantic and phonological properties, as might be sugges- ted albeit not for roots as such in Allen , Pesetsky , and Kiparsky a, b, ? Do roots have any syntactic properties e. And finally, are there actually veritable listed terminals which we may call roots, and which merge, syntactically, as such? The latter claim has been challenged from two rather different perspectives. For De Beider and van Craenenbroeck on the other hand, terminals which corres- pond to roots do exist, but they are not populated by listed items.

Rather, they are null sets, whose existence is mandated by the properties of Merge and specifically, First Merge. However, the formal nature of the syntactic operations that can give rise to instruction or dogs are by no means agreed upon. One option would be to assume that not only roots, but also affixes are syntactic terminals which merge with the root.

Such an approach would involve importing into the syntax the configurational approaches to word formation otherwise advanced, within an autono- mous morphological system, by Lieber , Williams , Selkirk , and more recently Ackema and Neeleman among others.

Morphology (linguistics)

On the other hand, one may adopt a realizational approach, thereby allowing the formation of complex words not through the presence of additional terminals, but through the spelling out of syntactic distinctions on the tree, thus importing into the syntax approaches such as those of Beard , and Anderson the latter for inflection only , among others. Can these different approaches, once integrated into the syntax, be shown to make different predictions, and can they be shown to overcome some rather recalcitrant issues that have, traditionally, provided evidence for removing word formation from the syntax altogether?

The issue here, we note, concerns not only the properties of roots, but also the properties of affixes. Specifically, if one subscribes to the view that words have an internal hierarchical structure, it must be the case that not only roots but also affixes are syntactic terminals. But if so, what is the difference, if any, between affixes and roots?

For a realizational syntactic approach, however, the task is how to specify the presence of relevant syntactic properties that condition particular realization e. Finally, within the types of approaches under consideration here, roots are devoid of category by assumption.

However, under the plausible claim that in constituents such as the dog, dog is at least in some relevant sense a noun, how does the dog, coextensive with the category-less root VDOG, come to be a noun, and by extension, how is categorization in general accomplished? Rather, it is about the merits and the consequences, or lack thereof, of postulating category-less syntactic terminals. For that reason, we did not attempt to integrate into this volume specific debates on word formation which do not, as such, have syntactic ramifications, nor have we included perspectives that postulate a fundamentally non-syntactic Introduction 5 component of word formation.

Discussions of the morpho-phonological properties of roots or their lexical semantics were thus included insofar as they were couched within the fundamental claim that the root is a valid syntactic object, either as a terminal, or as a relevant unit of syntactic information. Relative to the contributions in this volume, four main foci emerge from our brief introduction. These foci do not, as such, divide the chapters of this volume into groups, but rather, cut across them.

More frequently than not, discussions of root properties and their interaction with syntactic structure are closely interlaced, resulting in a network of interconnections between the different chapters. Similarly for Harley b, c , although Harley suggests that root selection may, at times, be mediated by formal structure.

Thus Rappaport Hovav and Levin make a strong case that root meaning consists of a limited number of contrastive ontological properties e. Embick a , as well, claims that roots may have formal meaning properties specifically stative vs.

all things phonology | Inflectional Identity (Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics) ( ): Asaf Bachrach, Andrew Nevins: Books. Inflectional Identity. Edited by Asaf Bachrach and Andrew Nevins. Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics. Compares Distributed Morphology.

Embick as well as Rappaport Hovav and Levin further argue that meaning distinctions associated with roots inform their syntactic merger possibilities, their potential categorization array, and the availability of arguments. This general position is adopted by several of our contributors, while others explicitly argue against it. For these scholars, the absence of meaning correlates directly with the absence of arguments or any selection properties.

That position, as well, has been adopted by some of our contributors. Let us consider some of our chapters from the perspective of this particular debate. Extending 6 Artemis Alexiadou, Hagit Borer, and Florian Schafer this approach, Acedo-Matellan and Mateu propose that the properties of roots are contingent on their syntactic position. Appealing to a crucial distinction between the conceptual and the syntactic properties of roots, they show that the conceptual meaning of roots are opaque to the syntactic computation and hence must be excluded from those aspects of the semantic interpretation that are built structurally.

As a consequence, ontologies of roots are grammatically spurious. Rather, what might appear, intuitively, to be a grammatically active root meaning, such as result or manner, is in fact an interpretation that is associated with a well-defined syntactic structure. Even more specifically, they suggest that grammatical result interpretation emerges whenever the root merges as the complement of a recursive P projection. Grammatical manner interpretation, on the other hand, emerges whenever the root is adjoined to v.

Arguing directly against claims made by other contributors to this volume including Alexiadou, Anagnostopoulou and Samioti, Levinson, Rappaport- Hovav, and RoCdeutscher , they strongly deny the claim that ontological classifica- tions of roots can inform the linguistic derivation or place any conditions on it. As such, this conclusion is compatible with the Exo-Skeletal approach, otherwise endorsed, in this volume, by Borer as well as by De Beider, Faust, and Lampitelli.

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It further sheds important light on the nature of the Voice node, which, in Greek, hosts non-active morphology. Specifically, afto- combines neither with naturally reflexive predicates nor with mono-eventive pre- dicates in general. If we assume that the properties of such predicates are contingent on the presence of manner roots, and that manner roots merge as modifiers of v, to give rise to a mono-eventive structure, and if we further assume that afto- indicates the presence of a bi-eventive structure, then these effects can be explained.

But if that is the explanation, then it crucially depends on the claim that the ontology of the root does translate, directly, into syntactic delimitations of its merger environment. Ultimately endorsing similar conclusions, Doron investigates a particular subclass of Hebrew adjectival passive participles formed in the causative template and shows that their interpretation always includes an implicit external argument, even when the external argument of the active verbal source is optional.

As such, the behavior of these passive participles parallels that of passive verbs in Hebrew, which also obligatorily include implicit external arguments. The behavior of adjectival passive participles in other morphological templates, by contrast, parallels the behavior of Introduction 7 middle-voice verbs, which exclude external arguments.

The conclusion drawn by Doron is that the structure of adjectival passives must contain a Voice node, and that the value of that Voice node is contingent on the voice values of the corresponding verbs. Crucially, roots can be classified into various ontological types, and their ontology correlates with the type of participles they build.

Assuming the ontology proposed, in essence, by Embick a , she proposes that dynamic roots only give rise to resultative participles, whereas roots that denote states may give rise to both stative and resultative participles.

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With this distinction in place, Doron shows that for the causative morphological template, the only available voice value is passive, i. It thus emerges that resultative participles in the causative templates must include a Voice projection. In her contribution she explores the connections between the semantic proper- ties of roots and morphosyntactic properties and argues that some correlations between interpretation and morphosyntax can be derived from the semantic types of the roots that form the lexical core of verbs.

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However, in a departure from Rappaport Hovav and Levin , Levinson integrates this approach into a Distributed Morphology approach to syntactic word formation. The syntactic execution, as it turns out, gives rise to interesting predictions regarding the interpretation of composition with roots. By putting forth an explicit formaliza- tion of verbal lexical decomposition, predictions concerning roots and composition with them are shown to be borne out.

In addition to contributing to our under- standing of the ontology of roots, the chapter shows that apparent verb polysemy frequently involves structural ambiguity which emerges in the context of root polysemy.