Download e-book for iPad: The Evolution Of Morphology by Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy

By Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy

ISBN-10: 0199299781

ISBN-13: 9780199299782

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It is the label that they choose for their viewpoint: they call it the lexical integrity principle. They thus imply that morphology is in some sense ‘lexical’ rather than syntactic. But what does ‘lexical’ mean here? It is related historically to the word ‘lexicon’, which is another word for ‘dictionary’ and which has long been used in linguistics as a technical term in the sense introduced by Leonard BloomWeld (1933: 274): ‘an appendix of the grammar, a list of basic irregularities’. Is it, then, that the existence of morphology as a distinct pattern of grammatical organization is derivable from the fact that not only simple monomorphemic items such as cat, high, and laugh but also many complex items such as catty, highness, and laughter are in some respect irregular or unpredictable, and must therefore be listed in the lexicon?

There is a more immediate reason for mentioning Bresnan and Mchombo here, however. It is the label that they choose for their viewpoint: they call it the lexical integrity principle. They thus imply that morphology is in some sense ‘lexical’ rather than syntactic. But what does ‘lexical’ mean here? It is related historically to the word ‘lexicon’, which is another word for ‘dictionary’ and which has long been used in linguistics as a technical term in the sense introduced by Leonard BloomWeld (1933: 274): ‘an appendix of the grammar, a list of basic irregularities’.

But would I wish to say that my cycling is not ‘optimal’ unless I have punctures? That would seem perverse. 3 The upshot of this discussion is that, even if we grant to Chomsky the beneWt of all legitimate doubts concerning what the Minimalist program has so far achieved, one cannot Wnd in it a motivation for why all inXectional morphology behaves as it does, let alone derivational morphology (the other side of the pig-hunter question) and the sing-sang question. At best, Minimalism may tell us something about why morphology is exploited in certain ways, given that it exists.

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The Evolution Of Morphology by Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy


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