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Deconstructing Morphology

Word Formation in Syntactic Theory

One of the major contributions to theoretical linguistics during the twentieth century has been an advancement of our understanding that the information-bearing units which make up human language are organized on a hierarchy of levels. It has been an overarching goal of research since the 1930s to determine the precise nature of those levels and what principles guide interactions among them.

Linguists have typically posited phonological, morphological, and syntactic levels, each with its own distinct vocabulary and organizing principles, but in Deconstructing Morphology Rochelle Lieber persuasively challenges the existence of a morphological level of language. Her argument, that rules and vocabulary claimed to belong to the morphological level in fact belong to the levels of syntax and phonology, follows the work of Sproat, Toman, and others. Her study, however, is the first to draw jointly on Chomsky’s Government-Binding Theory of syntax and on recent research in phonology.

Ranging broadly over data from many languages—including Tagalog, English, French, and Dutch—Deconstructing Morphology addresses key questions in current morphological and phonological research and provides an innovative view of the overall architecture of grammar.

245 pages | 3 tables, 157 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 1992

Language and Linguistics: Phonology and Phonetics, Syntax and Semantics

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
Prologue: On Productivity
1. The Interface between Morphology and Syntax
2. Head Theory and Principles of Construction
2.1. Development of the Theories of Phrase Structure and Word Structure
2.2. Revised Principles of X-bar Theory
2.3. Tagalog Phrase and Word Structure
2.4. English Phrase and Word Structure
2.5. Comparison: English, French, Dutch
2.5.1. French
2.5.2. Dutch
2.6. Conclusions
3. Feature Percolation and Inheritance
3.1. Previous Treatments of Percolation
3.2. What Features Percolate
3.2.1. Diacritics
3.2.2. Argument Structures
3.2.3. The Categorial Signature
3.3. Head and Backup Percolation
3.4. Multiply Marked Features
3.5. A Case Study: P/N Marking in Vogul
3.6. Ramifications
3.6.1. Inflection vs. Derivation
3.6.2. V Movement to Infl Analyses
3.7. Inheritance
3.8. Conclusions
4. Binding, Barriers, and X0
4.1. Binding below Word Level
4.1.1. Sublexical Indexing
4.1.2. Binding Theory and Anaphoric Islands
4.1.3. Binding below X0: A Closer Look at the Data
4.1.4. Sublexical Anaphors
4.1.5. Permissive vs. Nonpermissive Dialects
4.2. Move Alpha, Barriers, and X0
4.2.1. Movement into Words
4.2.2. Movement Out of Words
4.2.3. Movement of Morphemes within Words
4.2.4. ECP and Bracketing Paradoxes
4.3. The Lexicalist Hypothesis and the Notion of Lexical Integrity
5. Beyond Affixation and Compounding
5.1. Circumfixation
5.2. Conversion
5.3. Mutation and Umlaut
5.3.1. Consonant Mutation
5.3.2. Umlaut
5.4. Reduplication
5.4.1. Reduplication as Affixation
5.4.2. Quantity Sensitive Reduplication and the Parafixation Analysis
5.4.3. Against Head Operations: Affixation to Prosodic Structure
5.5. Templatic Morphology and the Morphemic Plane Hypothesis
5.6. Conclusion
6. The Interface with Phonology
Author Index
Language Index
Subject Index

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