Understanding Morphology: 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Understanding Morphology

2nd Edition

By Martin Haspelmath, Andrea Sims


368 pages

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pub: 2010-09-24
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This new edition of Understanding Morphology has been fully revised in line with the latest research. It now includes 'big picture' questions to highlight central themes in morphology, as well as research exercises for each chapter.

Understanding Morphology presents an introduction to the study of word structure that starts at the very beginning. Assuming no knowledge of the field of morphology on the part of the reader, the book presents a broad range of morphological phenomena from a wide variety of languages. Starting with the core areas of inflection and derivation, the book presents the interfaces between morphology and syntax and between morphology and phonology. The synchronic study of word structure is covered, as are the phenomena of diachronic change, such as analogy and grammaticalization.

Theories are presented clearly in accessible language with the main purpose of shedding light on the data, rather than as a goal in themselves. The authors consistently draw on the best research available, thus utilizing and discussing both functionalist and generative theoretical approaches.

Each chapter includes a summary, suggestions for further reading, and exercises. As such this is the ideal book for both beginning students of linguistics, or anyone in a related discipline looking for a first introduction to morphology.


"The revisions are really excellent. They keep the wealth of typological examples in the first edition, while incorporating a deep and clear discussion of recent advances in the theory of productivity and change. This updated training for students will certainly raise the level of the field."

Janet B. Pierrehumbert, Professor of Linguistics, Northwestern University, USA

Table of Contents

Preface to the second edition
Preface to the first edition
1. Introduction
2. Basic concepts
3. Rules
4. Lexicon
5. Inflection and derivation
6. Productivity
7. Morphological trees
8. Inflectional paradigms
9. Words and phrases
10. Morphophonology
11. Morphology and valence
12. Frequency effects in morphology
Key to comprehension exercises
Glossary of technical terms
Language index
Subject index

About the Authors

Martin Haspelmath is a Senior Researcher in the Linguistics Department of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and an Honorary Professor at the University of Leipzig.
Andrea D. Sims is Assistant Professor of Slavic Linguistics at The Ohio State University.

About the Series

Understanding Language

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General