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Defaults in linguistics

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDefaults in Morphological Theory
EditorsNikolas Gisborne, Andrew Hippisley
PublisherOxford University Press
Chapter1
Pages1-17
ISBN (Print)9780198712329
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2017

Abstract

This chapter explores the emergence of the new synthetic Romance future from a periphrasis involving habeo and the infinitive of a verb, addressing the question of how to model such a change in a theory of language which has a Word and Paradigm theory of morphology rather than a lexical one. The theoretical discussion is conducted in Word Grammar, a theory of language which includes a fully articulated theory of the lexicon, of syntax, and of morphology. WG is structured around a default inheritance architecture and treats language as a knowledge representation model, in a symbolic network. It is explicitly mentalist, and the account of the changes involved draws on WG’s mentalism, particularly to explore how language learners set defaults on the basis of their models’ grammars’ outputs which may be different from the defaults of their models’ grammars. The two phenomena that this paper addresses from the point of view of morphological theory are periphrasis (and whether it can be formalized within a paradigm) and the status of clitics.

    Research areas

  • morphosyntactic change, clitics, periphrasis, tense, word grammar

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