Allomorphy in Inflexion (Routledge Revivals): 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Allomorphy in Inflexion (Routledge Revivals)

1st Edition

By Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy

Routledge

272 pages

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pub: 2014-08-20
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Description

First published in 1987, this book broke new ground in research on inflectional morphology. Drawing on evidence from a wide variety of languages, it shows that this was not just a phenomenon left over from obsolete phonological processes but a subject deserving of more respect. The book proposes constraints in three areas: (1) the organization of inflection class systems; (2) inflectional homonymy, or syncretism; (3) the direction of allomorphic conditioning.

Carstairs-McCarthy’s notion of ‘Paradigm Economy’ revolutionized the study of inflection class systems but in its purest form, presented in this book, the hypothesis was too strong. In more recent works, the author has therefore argued that a version of it is an unexpected by-product of the brain’s aptitude for handling multiple vocabularies.  Inflectional homonymy was pioneered by Roman Jakobson as evidence for the structuring of morphosyntactic categories or feature sets (case, number, tense, mood and so on) but his interpretation differed from that of this book, whose radical suggestions fertilized much subsequent work on ‘inflectional identity’. Allomorphic conditioning, first explored in this book, is debated actively within the Distributed Morphology framework popular within Chomskyan generative linguistics, despite the contrast with the Carstairs-McCarthy view that morphology is a domain of grammar entirely distinct from syntax. In The Evolution of Morphology (2010) the author takes these topics further, including explaining why the distinction between stem alternation and affixation as inflectional expressions are importantly distinct.

Inflectional allomorphy is an apparently pointless complication exhibited by many languages, however, this book suggests reasons why it is, nevertheless, easy for the brain to handle and thus, the work has important implications beyond language, extending into human cognition.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. The Satus of Inflexion Paradigms 3. The Paradigm Economy Principle 4. Homonymy within Paradigms 5. Syntagmatic Constraints on Allomorphy 6. Two Questions Concerning Stem Allomorphy 7. A Case Study: Paradigm Economy in German Nouns 8. Next Steps; Bibliography; Indexes

About the Series

Routledge Revivals

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Well this may be the end of your quest – here is a fantastic opportunity for you to discover past brilliance and purchase previously out of print and unavailable titles by some of the world’s most eminent academic scholars.

Drawing from over 100 years of innovative, cutting-edge publishing, Routledge Revivals is an exciting programme whereby key titles from the distinguished and extensive backlist of the many acclaimed imprints associated with Routledge will be re-issued.

The programme draws upon the illustrious backlists of Kegan Paul, Trench & Trubner, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Methuen, Allen & Unwin and Routledge itself.

Routledge Revivals spans the whole of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and includes works by some of the world’s greatest thinkers including Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Simone Weil, Martin Buber, Karl Jaspers and Max Beloff.

If you are interested in Revivals in the Behavioral Sciences, please visit https://www.routledge.com/series/PSYREVIVALS

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
FOR000000
FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDY / General
LAN000000
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / General
LAN009000
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
LAN009020
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Morphology
LAN009060
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Syntax