On the Organization of the Lexicon

R. Lieber, 1980

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This study attempts to broaden the theory of morphology in two respects.  First, it is argued that both inflectional and derivational morphology should be performed within the lexicon, and, in fact, that they require the same sorts of formal processes.  Second, an attempt is made to constrain the interaction of morphological rules, and thereby to limit the notion of "possible word".

A theory of the organization of the lexicon is proposed.  The lexicon consists of a list of all unanalyzable terminal elements and their lexical entries.  Inflectional stem variants are listed, with relationships among them expressed by means of devices called morpholexical rules.  In the lexical structure subcomponent, terminal elements are inserted into binary branching unlabled trees subject to subcategorization restrictions on affixes.  Lexical trees are labeled by means of general feature percolation mechanisms.  The mechanics of lexical structure are illustrated with an analysis of the Latin verb paradigms; exactly the same mechanisms needed for producing derived words in Latin are also needed for producing inflected words.  The subject of morphological conversion is considered in Chapter 3: it is argued that most phenomena usually treated with a zero-affixation analysis cannot be so analyzed.  An alternative, non-directional analysis of conversion is proposed.

The third subcomponent of the lexicon consists of a block of string dependent morphological rules, some of which must have transformational power.  The properties of these rules, as illustrated by reduplication rules in Tagalog and umlaut processes in German, are shown to follow from constraints placed on other subcomponents of the morphology.

Thesis Supervisor:         Morris Halle

Title:                             Ferrari P. Ward Professor of Modern Languages and Linguistics

Table of Contents

Introduction                                                                                                                  8

Footnotes                                                                                                                     18

Chapter 1         Inflectional stem allomorphy and the lexicon                                           19

            1          Compounding in German                                                                      20

                        1.1       German noun classes                                                                20

                        1.2       Lexical classes and morpholexical rules                         24

                        1.3       Compounding and stem allomorphy                                           29

            2          Old English strong verbs                                                                       34

                        2.1       Vowel gradation in Old English strong verbs                              34

                        2.2       OE nominalizations in "i                                                            41

            3          Farther afield                                                                                        44

                        3.1       Latin                                                                                         44

                        3.2       Tagalog                                                                                    51

            4          Conclusion                                                                                           53

Footnotes                                                                                                                     55

Chapter 2         The organization of the lexicon                                                  59

            1          A morphological framework                                                                  61

                        1.1       The permanent lexicon                                                  61

                                    1.1.1    Lexical entries                                                               62

                                    1.1.2    Category classes, lexical classes and the nature of

                                                morpholexical rules                                                       67

                        1.2       Lexical structure                                                                       75

                        1.3       Lexical transformations and string dependent rules                     104

                        1.4       Lexical semantics                                                                      109

            2          Latin verb paradigms                                                                            118

                        2.1       Latin phonology                                                                        119

                        2.2       Morphology of the Latin verbs                                      133

                                    2.2.1    Morpholexical classes                                                   140

                                    2.2.2    Inflectional affixes                                                         146

                        2.3       More Latin paradigms                                                               163

                        2.4       Latin prefix verbs                                                                      167

            3          Morphological productivity                                                                   175

Footnotes                                                                                                                     181

Chapter 3         Morphological conversion                                                                     187

            1          Against zero affixation                                                               188

            2          Against any directional rule of conversion                                              195

            3          Conversion as a redundancy rules in the permanent lexicon                    198

            4          The semantics of conversion                                                                  203

            5          The scope of conversion                                                                       206

            6          Diversion on root and suffix allomorphy and truncation rules       217

            7          Zero-affixation: possible real cases                                                        225

Footnotes                                                                                                                     232

Chapter 4         String dependent word formation and lexical transformation       234

            1          On restricting the power of word formation rules                                   236

            2          Reduplication as a transformation                                                          246

                        2.1       Properties of reduplication                                                        247

                        2.2       The locality of reduplication                                                       253

                        2.3       Reduplication summary                                                 270

            3          Umlaut                                                                                                 272

                        3.1       Umlaut as a morphological process                                           273

                        3.2       Two possible reanalyses of umlaut                                             281

                        3.3       Umlaut and inflection                                                                 293

                                    3.3.1    Nouns                                                                          294

                                    3.3.2    Verb paradigms                                                            297

                                    3.3.3    Adjectives                                                                    303

                        3.4       Umlaut and conversion                                                  305

                        3.5       Umlaut summary                                                                       308

            4          Theoretical speculations                                                                        311

Footnotes                                                                                                                     318