LSA 311: Morphological theory

Geert Booij | six-week course | MW 1:30 – 3:15, B-4 Dwinelle Hall

This course on morphological theory will focus on the relation between morphology and the architecture of the grammar. Topics will be: the (relative) autonomy of morphology, the nature of the lexicon, the relation between words and phrasal lexical units, and the relevance of the notion "construction" as developed in Construction Grammar for the analysis of word formation patterns. The course will focus on word formation, but the implications of a constructionist approach to morphology for the analysis of inflection will also be discussed.

Key notions to be discussed are: the tripartite parallel architecture of the grammar, word-based morphology, morphology by itself, and the relation between word formation and inflection, word formation schemas / templates versus rules, the hierarchical lexicon, storage versus computation, template conflation, and the role of paradigmatic relations in word formation, morphology and syntax, demarcation and interface, and productive lexical combinations that are not words stricto sensu, among which periphrastic inflection, particle verbs, numerals, and pseudo-incorporation.

Furthermore, we will discuss the phenomenon of construction-dependent morphology: the morphological marking of words may not be governed by general structure-sensitive rules, but may be dependent on their occurrence in specific constructions.

Finally, attention will be given to the implications of a constructionist view of morphology for the interface between morphology and phonology, in particular the theory of lexical phonology. In the meetings the course readings will be introduced by the teacher, and discussed with the participants; students can also do short presentations of language data and analyses that are relevant to the topic of the course.

Reading: Geert Booij, The Grammar of Words and selected materials available online.

Prerequisites: Knowledge of the basics of morphology as spelled out in my textbook The Grammar of Words (Oxford University Press, 2007) will be presupposed.

Areas of linguistics: Phonetics, phonology, and morphology; Syntax, semantics, and morphology

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