Inflectional Paradigms

27 Feb





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Title: Inflectional Paradigms

Subtitle: Content and Form at the Syntax-Morphology Interface

Author: Gregory Stump

Series Title: Cambridge Studies in Linguistics 149

Published: 2015

Publisher: Cambridge University Press:



Book URL:








Sometimes dismissed as linguistically epiphenomenal, inflectional paradigms are, in reality, the interface of a language’s morphology with its syntax and semantics. Drawing on abundant evidence from a wide range of languages (French, Hua, Hungarian, Kashmiri, Latin, Nepali, Noon, Old Norse, Sanskrit, Turkish, Twi and others), Stump examines a variety of mismatches between words’ content and form, including morphomic patterns, defectiveness, overabundance, syncretism, suppletion, deponency and polyfunctionality. He demonstrates that such mismatches motivate a new grammatical architecture in which two kinds of paradigms are distinguished: content paradigms, which determine word forms’ syntactic distribution and semantic interpretation, and form paradigms, which determine their inflectional realization. In this framework, the often nontrivial linkage between a lexeme’s content paradigm and its stems’ form paradigm is the nexus at which incongruities of content and form are resolved. Stump presents clear and precise analyses of a range of morphological phenomena in support of this theoretical innovation.



1. What are inflectional paradigms?; 2. Canonical inflectional paradigms; 3. Morphosyntactic properties; 4. Lexemes; 5. Stems; 6. Inflection classes; 7. A conception of the relation of content to form in inflectional paradigms; 8. Morphomic properties; 9. Too many cells, too few cells; 10. Syncretism; 11. Suppletion and heteroclisis; 12. Deponency and metaconjugation; 13. Polyfunctionality; 14. Theoretical synopsis and two further issues.



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