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Distributed Morphology Today

Morphemes for Morris Halle

Ora Matushansky

Publication Year: 2013

This collection offers a snapshot of current research in Distributed Morphology, highlighting the lasting influence of Morris Halle, a pioneer in generative linguistics. Distributed Morphology, which integrates the morphological with the syntactic, originated in Halle's work. These essays, written to mark his 90th birthday, make original theoretical contributions to the field and emphasize Halle's foundational contributions to the study of morphology.The authors primarily focus on the issues of locality, exploring the tight connection of morphology to phonology, syntax and semantics that lies at the core of Distributed Morphology. The nature of phases, the notion of a morpho-syntactic feature, allomorphy and exponence, the synthetic/analytic alternation, stress assignment, and syntactic agreement are all shown to link to more than one grammatical module.Animated discussion with students has been central to Halle's research, and the development of Distributed Morphology has been shaped and continued by his students, many of whom have contributed to this volume. Halle's support, advice, and enthusiasm encouraged the research exemplified here. In the Hallean tradition, these papers are sure to inspire all generations of morphologists.<B>Contributors</B>Karlos Arregi, Jonathan David Bobaljik, Eulàlia Bonet, David Embick, Daniel Harbour, Heidi Harley, Alec Marantz, Tatjana Marvin, Ora Matushansky, Martha McGinnis, Andrew Nevins, Rolf Noyer, Isabel Oltra-Massuet, Mercedes Tubino Blanco, Susi Wurmbrand

Published by: The MIT Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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Morris, Distributed: An Introduction

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pp. vii-xiv

This Festschrift honors Morris Halle, on the occasion of his ninetieth birthday, for his many foundational and lasting contributions to our understanding of morphology. Morris projects such a giant presence in linguistics in general and in morphology specifically that we, as his students, felt we could only attempt to honor a small, ...


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pp. xv-xvi

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1. Variability and Allomorphy in the Morphosyntax of Catalan Past Perfective

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pp. 1-20

The past perfective in Catalan illustrates a case of Labovian variability (Labov 1969 and related work) in that it shows up to three different forms (1): a synthetic form (S), spoken in some varieties of Valencian, Rossellonese, and Balearic Catalan (Majorcan and Ibizan) (1a); and two analytic forms, the standard (A1), ...

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2. Phonological and Morphological Interaction in Proto-Indo-European Accentuation

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pp. 21-38

The reconstruction of the grammar of word accentuation in Proto-Indo-European (PIE) has long been a central topic in historical linguistics, as well as the focus of a number of studies within generative phonology of the daughter languages that preserve relicts of the anterior system (Halle and Kiparsky 1977; Halle and Vergnaud 1987). ...

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3. Agree and Fission in Georgian Plurals

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pp. 39-58

One of Morris Halle’s many lasting contributions to the study of morphology is his elaboration of a principled relationship between morphology and syntax. In particular, his work in Distributed Morphology argues that syntactic nodes provide the domains within which morphological disjunctivity obtains (Halle and Marantz 1993, 1994; Halle 1997a, inter alia). ...

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4. More or Better: On the Derivation of Synthetic Comparatives and Superlatives in English

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pp. 59-78

As illustrated in (1), English comparatives and superlatives can be synthetic, derived with the suffixes -er and -st, respectively, or analytic, requiring the freestanding morphemes more and most. While in some syntactic environments, such as metalinguistic comparison (see Bresnan 1973 and Kennedy 1999, among others), ...

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5. Is Word Structure Relevant for Stress Assignment?

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pp. 79-94

In this chapter, I compare two different positions as to the relevance of structure when it comes to stress assignment in English derived words: the “classic derivational” and the optimality theory (OT hereafter) approach. The central issue is how to account for the preservation of stress (and vowel quality) ...

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6. Locality Domains for Contextual Allomorphy across the Interfaces

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pp. 95-116

The origins of Distributed Morphology can be traced to an argument Morris Halle and I had when I arrived (back) at MIT to teach in the fall of 1990. I came with “lexicalist” assumptions about morphology, as worked out for example in Lieber 1992—not the notion that words were built in the lexicon but rather the notion that lexical items, ...

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7. Cycles, Vocabulary Items, and Stem Forms in Hiaki

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pp. 117-134

The analysis of arbitrary morphological classes has a number of architectural implications in Distributed Morphology (Halle and Marantz 1993). There is no central repository of Saussurean ‘words’ in the framework—no sound-meaning pairings that are the building blocks for both phonological and semantic sentence-level representations. ...

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8. “Not Plus” Isn’t “Not There”: Bivalence in Person, Number, and Gender

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pp. 135-150

When he was young, Morris Halle taught himself to write backwards (as did I). His method involved decomposing letters into their constituent ascenders, descenders, loops, and humps, and mastering reversal just of this smaller set of primitives. In consequence, an examination of features, the primitives of linguistic representations, ...

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9. Morphemes and Morphophonological Loci

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pp. 151-166

Some questions in linguistics have persisted through hosts of theoretical changes. The conflict between affixless and morpheme-based theories raises questions of this type. In its contemporary incarnation, at least two significant objections raised against affixless theories are that they (i) render the interface between syntax and morphology opaque, ...

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10. Agreement in Two Steps (at Least)

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pp. 167-184

In many languages the elements of a DP agree with a head noun (nominal concord). This is illustrated in (1) with an example from Spanish, where there is gender and number concord with the head noun, which appears in boldface. ...

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11. Suspension across Domains

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pp. 185-198

The notion of a cyclic derivation, defining (sub)domains in a grammatical derivation to which rules apply, dates from some of the earliest work in modern linguistics and is a recurring theme in the work of Morris Halle (see, famously, Chomsky and Halle 1968). ...

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12. Contextual Neutralization and the Elsewhere Principle

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pp. 199-222

Against the setting of this book, our aim is to contextualize the present chapter within the background of developments in phonological and morphological theory of the last forty-odd years, largely those arising from contributions by Morris Halle and his collaborators. ...


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pp. 223-250


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pp. 251-252

Author Index

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pp. 253-254

Language Index

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pp. 261-262

Subject Index

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pp. 255-260

E-ISBN-13: 9780262314572
E-ISBN-10: 0262314576
Print-ISBN-13: 9780262019675

Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2013