HANDBOOK OF WORD-FORMATION Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory VOLUME 64 Managing Editors Marcel den Dikken, City University of New York Liliane Haegeman, University of Lille Joan Maling, Brandeis University Editorial Board Guglielmo Cinque, University of Venice Carol Georgopoulos, University of Utah Jane Grimshaw, Rutgers University Michael Kenstowicz, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Hilda Koopman, University of California, Los Angeles Howard Lasnik, University of Maryland Alec Marantz, Massachusetts Institute of Technology John J.
McCarthy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst Ian Roberts, University of Cambridge The titles published in this series are listed at the end of this volume. HANDBOOK OF WORD-FORMATION Edited by PAVOL STEKAUER Pre o University, Pre ov, Slovakia ov e and ROCHELLE LIEBER University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, U. S. A. A C. I. P. Catalogue record for this book is available from the Library of Congress. ISBN-10 ISBN-13 ISBN-10 ISBN-10 ISBN-13 ISBN-13 1-4020-3597-7 (PB) 978-1-4020-3597-5 (PB) 1-4020-3595-0 (HB) 1-4020-3596-9 (e-book) 978-1-4020-3595-1 (HB) 978-1-4020-3596-8 (e-book) Published by Springer, P.
O. Box 17, 3300 AA Dordrecht, The Netherlands. www. springeronline. com Printed on acid-free paper All Rights Reserved © 2005 Springer No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, microfilming, recording or otherwise, without written permission from the Publisher, with the exception of any material supplied specifically for the purpose of being entered and executed on a computer system, for exclusive use by the purchaser of the work. Printed in the Netherlands. CONTENTS PREFACE CONTRIBUTORS vii 1 ANDREW CARSTAIRS-MCCARTHY: BASIC TERMINOLOGY 1. The notion of the linguistic sign 1. 1 EVIDENCE FOR THE MORPHEME-AS-SIGN POSITION IN SAUSSURE’S COURS 1. 2 EVIDENCE FOR THE WORD-AS-SIGN POSITION IN SAUSSURE’S COURS Morpheme and word 2. 1 CASE STUDY: ENGLISH NOUN PLURAL FORMS (PART 1) 2. 2 CASE STUDY: THE PERFECT PARTICIPLE FORMS OF ENGLISH VERBS 2. 3 CASE STUDY: ENGLISH NOUN PLURAL FORMS (PART 2) 2. 4 COMPLEMENTARY DISTRIBUTION AND INFLECTION VERSUS DERIVATION ‘Morphemes’ since the 1960s 5 5 7 8 10 11 14 17 18 20 25 25 2. 3. ELLEN M. KAISSE: WORD-FORMATION AND PHONOLOGY 1. Introduction vi 2.
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CONTENTS Effects of lexical category, morphological structure, and affix type on phonology 2. 1 EFFECTS OF LEXICAL CATEGORY AND OF MORPHOLOGICAL COMPLEXITY 2. 2 COHERING AND NON-COHERING AFFIXES Morphology limited by the phonological form of the base of affixation Lexical phonology and morphology and its ills More recent developments of lexical phonology and morphology How do related words affect each other? The cycle, transderivational t effects, paradigm uniformity and the like Do the cohering affixes f rm a coherent set? Split bases, SUBCATWORD fo and phonetics in morphology Conclusion 26 26 28 32 34 38 39 41 45 . 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. GREGORY STUMP: WORD-FORMATION AND INFLECTIONAL MORPHOLOGY 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. The conceptual difference between inflection and word-formation The inflectional categories of English Practical criteria for distinguishing inflection from word-formation Practical criteria for distinguishing inflectional periphrases Some similarities between inflection and word-formation Complex interactions between inflection and word-formation Inflectional paradigms and word-formation paradigms 7. 1 PARADIGMS AND HEAD MARKING IN INFLECTION AND DERIVATION 7. 2 PARADIGMS AND BLOCKING IN INFLECTION AND DERIVATION 9 49 50 53 59 60 61 65 65 67 CONTENTS ANDREW SPENCER: WORD-FORMATION AND SYNTAX 1. 2. Introduction Lexical relatedness and syntax 2. 1 MORPHOTACTICS IN CLASSICAL US STRUCTURALISM 2. 2 MORPHOLOGY AS SYNTAX 2. 3 LEXICAL INTEGRITY Syntactic phenomena inside words Argument structure realization 4. 1 DEVERBAL MORPHOLOGY 4. 1. 1 Action nominals 4. 1. 2 Nominals denoting grammatical functions 4. 1. 3 -able adjectives 4. 2 SYNTHETIC COMPOUNDS AND NOUN INCORPORATION Theoretical approaches to word formation Summary and afterword vii 73 73 74 74 74 78 82 83 83 83 87 88 88 89 93 99 3. 4. 5. 6.
DIETER KASTOVSKY: HANS MARCHAND AND THE MARCHANDEANS 1. 2. Introduction Hans Marchand 2. 1 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK 2. 2 SYNCHRONIC APPROACH 2. 3 MOTIVATION 2. 4 MORPHONOLOGICAL ALTERNATIONS 2. 5 THE CONCEPT OF SYNTAGMA 2. 6 GENERATIVE-TRANSFORMATIONAL INFLUENCE 2. 7 ANALYSIS OF COMPOUNDS 2. 8 PRECURSOR OF LEXICALIST HYPOTHESIS 99 100 100 100 101 102 102 104 105 106 3. Klaus Hansen 107 3. 1 GENERAL 107 3. 2 WORD-FORMEDNESS VS. WORD-FORMATION 107 3. 3 WORD-FORMATION PATTERN VS. WORD-FORMATION TYPE108 3. 4 ONOMASIOLOGICAL APPROACH VS. SEMASIOLOGICAL APPROACH 109 viii 4. CONTENTS Herbert Ernst Brekle 4. GENERAL 4. 2 FRAMEWORK 4. 3 BREKLE’S MODEL 4. 4 PRODUCTION AND INTERPRETATION OF COMPOUNDS Leonhard Lipka 5. 1 GENERAL 5. 2 THEORETICAL DEVELOPMENT Dieter Kastovsky 6. 1 GENERAL 6. 2 THEORETICAL BACKGROUND 6. 3 WORD-FORMATION AT THE CROSSROADS OF MORPHOLOGY, SYNTAX, SEMANTICS, PRAGMATICS AND THE LEXICON Gabriele Stein (Lady Quirk) Conclusion 109 109 110 110 112 112 112 113 114 114 115 116 116 118 125 125 126 127 128 130 132 133 133 134 136 138 141 142 143 143 5. 6. 7. 8. TOM ROEPER: CHOMSKY’S REMARKS AND THE TRANSFORMATIONALIST HYPOTHESIS 1. Nominalizations and Core Grammar 1. CORE CONTRAST 1. 2 TRANSFORMATIONS The Subject Enigma 2. 1 PASSIVE -ABILITY NOMINALIZATIONS 2. 2 -ING NOMINALIZATIONS Case Assignment 3. 1 COPING WITH EXCEPTIONS 3. 2 THEMATIC-BINDING Intriguing Issues: Aspectual Differentiation of Nominalization Affixes Where do Affixes Attach? Elaborated Phrase Structure and Nominalizations 6. 1 BARE NOMINALS: PREDICTABLE RESTRICTIONS 6. 2 HIGH -ING 6. 3 ACCUSATIVE AND -ING NOMINALIZATIONS 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. CONTENTS 7. Conclusion ix 144 SERGIO SCALISE AND EMILIANO GUEVARA: THE LEXICALIST APPROACH TO WORD-FORMATION AND THE NOTION OF 147 THE LEXICON 1. . 3. 4. A definition A Brief History 2. 1 LEES (1960) The Lexicon Lexicalism 4. 1 HALLE (1973) 4. 2 ARONOFF (1976) 4. 2. 1The Word-based Hypothesis 4. 2. 2 Word-Formation Rules 4. 2. 3 Productivity 4. 2. 4 Restrictions on WFRs 4. 2. 5 Stratal features 4. 2. 6 Restrictions on the output of WFRs 4. 2. 7 Conditions 4. 2. 8 Summary on Word-Formation Rules Some Major Issues 5. 1 STRONG AND WEAK LEXICALISM More on the Notion of Lexicon Lexicalism Today 7. 1 INFLECTIONAL MORPHOLOGY 7. 2 SYNTACTIC MORPHOLOGY 7. 3 THE SYNTACTIC INCORPORATION HYPOTHESIS 7. 4 WORD-FORMATION AS SYNTAX 7. DISTRIBUTED MORPHOLOGY Conclusion 147 148 150 151 153 153 157 157 158 159 159 161 162 162 166 166 170 171 173 174 176 176 178 180 181 189 5. 6. 7. 8. ROBERT BEARD AND MARK VOLPE: LEXEME -MORPHEME BASE MORPHOLOGY 1. Introduction 189 x 2. CONTENTS The Three Basic Hypotheses of LMBM 2. 1 THE SEPARATION HYPOTHESIS 2. 2 THE UNITARY GRAMMATICAL FUNCTION HYPOTHESIS 2. 3 THE BASE RULE HYPOTHESIS Types of Lexical (L-) Derivation 3. 1 COMPETENCE: GRAMMATICAL L-DERIVATION 3. 1. 1 Feature Value Switches 3. 1. 2 Functional Lexical-Derivation 3. 1. 3 Transposition 3. 1. Expressive Derivations Conclusion 189 190 191 192 194 194 194 195 198 199 200 201 207 207 208 209 209 211 211 212 214 217 219 221 225 226 226 227 229 3. 4. Appendix PAVOL STEKAUER: ONOMASIOLOGICAL APPROACH TO WORD-FORMATION 1. 2. 3. Introduction Methods of Onomasiological Research Theoretical approaches 3. 1 MILOS DOKULIL 3. 2 JAN HORECKY 3. 3 PAVOL STEKAUER 3. 3. 1 Word-formation as an independent component 3. 3. 2 The act of naming 3. 3. 3 Onomasiological Types 3. 3. 4 Conceptual (onomasiological) recategorization 3. 3. 5 An Onomasiological Approach to Productivity 3. . 6 Headedness 3. 3. 7 Summary 3. 4 BOGDAN SZYMANEK 3. 5 ANDREAS BLANK 3. 6 PETER KOCH DAVID TUGGY: COGNITIVE APPROACH TO WORD-FORMATION 233 1. Basic notions of Cognitive grammar (CG) 1. 1 THE GRAMMAR OF A LANGUAGE UNDER CG 1. 2 LEXICON AND SYNTAX 233 233 235 CONTENTS 2. Schemas and prototypes 2. 1 SCHEMAS AND ELABORATIONS 2. 2 PARTIAL SCHEMATICITY AND THE GROWTH OF SCHEMATIC NETWORKS 2. 3 PROTOTYPICALITY AND SALIENCE 2. 4 ACCESS TO THE STORE OF CONVENTIONAL KNOWLEDGE, INCLUDING NEIGHBORING STRUCTURES 2. 5 SANCTION Schemas for word formation 3. 1 SCHEMAS FOR WORDS 3. SCHEMAS FOR CLEARLY IDENTIFIABLE WORD PIECES: STEMS AND AFFIXES AND CONSTRUCTIONAL SCHEMAS M 3. 3 COMPLEX SEMANTIC AND PHONOLOGICAL POLES 3. 4 SCHEMAS FOR COMPOUNDS 3. 5 STRUCTURAL DESCRIPTIONS, CREATIVITY AND PRODUCTIVE USAGE 3. 6 SANCTION (OF VARIOUS KINDS) FROM COMPONENTS 3. 7 COMPONENTS AND PATTERNS FOR THE WHOLE; OVERLAPPING PATTERNS AND MULTIPLE ANALYSES R A 3. 8 CONSTITUENCY Overview of other issues 4. 1 VALENCE 4. 2 THE MORPHOLOGY-SYNTAX BOUNDARY 4. 3 INFLECTION VS. DERIVATION What’s special about English word formation? Conclusion: Implications of accounting for morphology by schemas i 235 235 236 238 238 239 240 240 244 246 248 251 254 256 257 258 258 259 260 261 262 267 267 268 268 268 270 271 272 274 274 276 3. 4. 5. 6. WOLFGANG U. DRESSLER: WORD-FORMATION IN NATURAL MORPHOLOGY 1. 2. Introduction Universal, system-independent morphological naturalness 2. 1 PREFERENCES 2. 2 PREFERENCE FOR ICONICITY 2. 3 INDEXICALITY PREFERENCES 2. 4 PREFERENCE FOR MORPHOSEMANTIC TRANSPARENCY 2. 5 PREFERENCE FOR MORPHOTACTIC TRANSPARENCY 2. 6 PREFERENCE FOR BIUNIQUENESS 2. 7 FIGURE-GROUND PREFERENCES 2. 8 PREFERENCE FOR BINARITY xii CONTENTS 2. 9 OPTIMAL SHAPE OF UNITS 2. 0 ALTERNATIVE NATURALNESS PARAMETERS 2. 11 PREDICTIONS AND CONFLICTS 276 276 277 278 279 279 280 281 285 285 285 286 287 287 290 294 298 298 301 303 304 307 311 315 315 316 317 3. 4. Typological adequacy System-dependent naturalness 4. 1 SYSTEM-ADEQUACY 4. 2 DYNAMIC VS. STATIC MORPHOLOGY 4. 3 UNIVERSAL VS. TYPOLOGICAL VS. SYSTEM-DEPENDENT NATURALNESS PETER ACKEMA AND AD NEELEMAN: WORD-FORMATION IN OPTIMALITY THEORY 1. Introduction 1. 1 OPTIMALITY THEORY 1. 2 COMPETITION IN MORPHOLOGY Competition between different morphemes 2. 1 THE BASIC CASE 2. 2 HAPLOLOGY 2. MARKEDNESS Competition between components 3. 1 ELSEWHERE CASES 3. 2 COMPETITION BETWEEN MODULES THAT DOES NOT INVOLVE THE ELSEWHERE PRINCIPLE Competition between different morpheme orders 4. 1 CONFLICTS BETWEEN LINEAR CORRESPONDENCE AND TEMPLATIC REQUIREMENTS 4. 2 CONFLICTS BETWEEN LINEAR CORRESPONDENCE AND OTHER CORRESPONDENCE CONSTRAINTS Conclusion 2. 3. 4. 5. LAURIE BAUER: PRODUCTIVITY: THEORIES 1. 2. 3. Introduction Pre-generative theories of productivity Schultink (1961) CONTENTS 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Zimmer (1964) Aronoff Natural Morphology Kiparsky (1982) Van Marle (1985) Corbin (1987) iii 318 318 321 322 323 324 324 326 327 328 330 332 335 335 335 335 336 336 339 340 340 340 341 344 345 347 348 349 349 10. Baayen 11. Plag (1999) 12. Hay (2000) 13. Bauer (2001) 14. Some threads 15. Conclusion FRANZ RAINER: CONSTRAINTS ON PRODUCTIVITY 1. 2. Introduction Universal constraints 2. 1 CONSTRAINTS SUPPOSEDLY LOCATED AT UG 2. 2 PROCESSING CONSTRAINTS 2. 2. 1 Blocking 2. 2. 2 Complexity Based Ordering 2. 2. 3 Productivity, frequency and length of bases Language-specific constraints 3. 1 LEVEL ORDERING 3. 2 AFFIX-SPECIFIC RESTRICTIONS 3. 2. 1 Phonology 3. 2. 2 Morphology 3. 2. 3 Syntax 3. 2. 4 Argument structure 3. 2. Semantics 3. 2. 6 Pragmatics and Sociolinguistics 3. xiv 4. Final remarks PREFACE 349 PETER HOHENHAUS: LEXICALIZATION AND I INSTITUTIONALIZATION TITUTIONALIZATION 1. 2. Introduction Lexicalization 2. 1 LEXICALIZATION IN A DIACHRONIC SENSE 2. 2 LEXICALIZATION IN A SYNCHRONIC SENSE: LISTING/LISTEDNESS 2. 3 THE LEXICON AND THEORIES OF WORD-FORMATION Institutionalization 3. 1 TERMINOLOGY 3. 2 IDEAL AND REAL SPEAKERS AND THE SPEECH COMMUNITY 3. 3 DE-INSTITUTIONALIZATION: THE END OF A WORD’S LIFE Problems 4. 1 NONCE-FORMATIONS AND NEOLOGISMS 4. 2 (NON-)LEXICALIZABILITY 4. 3 WHAT IS IN THE (MENTAL) LEXICON AND HOW DOES IT GET THERE? . 4 UNPREDICTABLE & PLAYFUL FORMATIONS, ANALOGY, FADS, AND NEW DEVELOPMENTS 4. 5 LEXICALIZATION BEYOND WORDS 353 353 353 353 356 357 359 359 360 362 363 363 365 367 369 370 375 375 375 376 378 379 379 383 390 391 393 400 402 3. 4. ROCHELLE LIEBER: ENGLISH WORD-FORMATION PROCESSES 1. 2. Introduction Compounding 2. 1 DETERMINING WHAT COUNTS AS A COMPOUND 2. 2 ROOT COMPOUNDING 2. 3 SYNTHETIC COMPOUNDING 2. 4 STRUCTURE AND INTERPRETATION Derivation 3. 1 PREFIXATION 3. 1. 1 Negative prefixes (un-, in-, non-, de-, dis-) 3. 1. 2 Locational prefixes 3. 1. 3 Temporal and aspectual prefixes 3. 1. Quantitative prefixes 3. CONTENTS 3. 1. 5 Verbal prefixes 3. 2 SUFFIXATION 3. 2. 1 Personal nouns 3. 2. 2 Abstract nouns 3. 2. 3 Verb-forming suffixes 3. 2. 4 Adjective-forming suffixes 3. 2. 5 Collectives 3. 3 CONCLUSION 4. 5. Conversion Conclusion xv 402 403 403 406 410 413 417 418 418 422 429 429 430 431 BOGDAN SZYMANEK: THE LATEST TRENDS IN ENGLISH WORD-FORMATION 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Introduction Derivational neologisms Analogical formations, local analogies Changes in the relative significance of types of word-formation processes 431 Secretion of new affixes ‘Lexicalisation’ of affixes 435 436
Changes in the productivity, relative productivity and scope of individual 436 affixes Semantics: changes in formative functions 438 Trends in the form of complex words 441 9. 1 CHOICE OF RIVAL AFFIXES – MORPHOLOGICAL DOUBLETS 441 9. 2 PHONOLOGICAL FORM – STRESS 443 449 459 465 SUBJECT INDEX NAME INDEX LANGUAGE INDEX PREFACE Following years of complete or partial neglect of issues concerning word formation (by which we mean primarily derivation, compounding, and conversion), the year 1960 marked a revival – some might even say a resurrection – of this important field of linguistic study.
While written in completely different theoretical frameworks (structuralist vs. transformationalist), from completely different perspectives, and with different objectives, both Marchand’s Categories and Types of Present-Day English Word-Formation in Europe and Lees’ Grammar of English Nominalizations instigated systematic research in the field. As a result, a large number of seminal works emerged over the next decades, making the scope of wordt formation research broader and deeper, thus contributing to better understanding of this exciting area of human language.
Parts of this development have been captured in texts or ‘review’ books (e. g. P. H. Matthews’ Morphology: An Introduction to the Theory of Word-Structure (1974), Andrew Spencer’s Morphological Theory: An Introduction to Word Structure in Generative Grammar (1991), Francis Katamba’s Morphology (1993), r Spencer and Zwicky’s Handbook of Morphology (1998)), but these books tend to discuss both inflectional and derivational morphology, and to do so mostly from the generative point of view.
What seemed lacking to us was a volume intended for advanced students and other researchers in linguistics which would trace the many strands of study – both generative and non-generative – that have developed from Marchand’s and Lees’ seminal works, on both sides of the Atlantic. The ambitions of this Handbook of Word-formation are four-fold: 1. To map the state of the art in the field of word-formation. 2. To avoid a biased approach to word-formation by presenting different, mutually complementary, frameworks within which research into wordformation has taken place. vii xviii 3. 4. PREFACE To present the specific topics from the perspective of experts who have significantly contributed to the respective topics discussed. To look specifically at individual English word formation processes and review some of the developments that have taken place since Marchand’s comprehensive treatment forty five years ago. Thus, the Handbook provides the reader with the state of the art in the study of k word formation (with a special view to English word formation) at the eginning of the third millennium. The Handbook is intended to give the reader a clear idea of the k large number of issues examined within word-formation, the different methods and approaches used, and an ever-growing number of tasks to be disposed of in future research. At the same time, it gives evidence of the great theoretical achievements and the vitality of this field that has become a full-fledged linguistic discipline. We wish to express our gratitude to all the contributors to the Handbook. The editors CONTRIBUTORS
Peter Ackema is lecturer in linguistics at the University of Edinburgh. He has worked extensively on issues regarding the morphology-syntax interface, on which he has published two books, Issues in Morphosyntax (Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1999), and Beyond Morphology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004, co-authored with Ad Neeleman). He has also published on a wide range of syntaxinternal and morphology-internal topics. Laurie Bauer holds a personal chair in Linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
He has published widely on international varieties of English, especially New Zealand English, and on aspects of morphology, including English Word-formation (Cambridge University Press, 1983), Morphological Productivity (Cambridge University Press, 2001), Introducing Linguistic Morphology (Edinburgh University Press, 2nd edn, 2003), A Glossary of Morphology (Edinburgh University Press, 2004). Robert Beard received his PhD in Slavic linguistics from the University of Michigan and taught for 35 years at Bucknell University.
In 2000 he retired as the Ruth Everett Sierzega Professor of Linguistics at Bucknell to found the web-based company of language products and services, yourDictionary. com, where he is currently CEO. He is the author of The Indo-European Lexicon (Amsterdam: NorthHolland, 1981) and Lexeme-Morpheme Base Morphology (New York: SUNY Press, 1995). Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy is Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. He is the author of Allomorphy in Inflexion (London: Croom Helm, 1987), Current Morphology (London and New York: Routledge, 1992) and An Introduction to English Morphology (Edinburgh:
Edinburgh University Press, 2002). He is also interested in language evolution, and has published The Origins of Complex Language: An Inquiry into the Evolutionary Beginnings of Sentences, Syllables and Truth (Oxford: OUP, 1999). 1 2 CONTRIBUTORS Wolfgang Dressler is Professor of linguistics, Head of the Department of r Linguisics at the University of Vienna and of the Commission for Linguistics of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He is the author of Morphonology (Ann Arbor: Karoma Press, 1985) and Morphopragmatics (with Lavinia Merlini Barbaresi) (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1994).
Emiliano Guevara is lecturer of General Linguistics at the University of Bologna and is member of the Mor-Bo reserach group at the Department of Foreign languages in Bologna. His publications include “V-Compounding in Dutch and Italian” (Cuadernos de Linguistica, Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset, 1-21 (with S. Scalise) and “Selection in compounding and derivation” (to appear) (with S. m Scalise and A. Bisetto). Peter Hohenhaus is lecturer in modern linguistics at the University of Nottingham (UK).
He received his PhD in English Linguistics from the University of Hamburg and has published on standardization and purism, humorology, computer-mediated communication as well as English and German word-formation, in particular nonce word-formation, including the volume Ad-hoc-Wortbildung – Terminologie, Typologie und Theorie kreativer Wortbildung im Englischen (Frankfurt, Bern etc. : Lang, 1996). Ellen M. Kaisse is Professor of Linguistics, University of Washington, Seattle. Her main fields of research include morphology-phonology and syntaxphonology interfaces, intonation, historical phonology, and Spanish phonology.
She is an author of Connected speech: the interaction of syntax and phonology (Orlando: t Academic Press, 1985), Studies in Lexical Phonology (ed. with S. Hargus, Orlando: y Academic Press, 1993), “Palatal vowels, glides, and consonants in Argentinian Spanish” (with J. Harris) (Phonology 16, 1999, 117-190), “The long fall: an intonational melody of Argentinian Spanish” (In: Features and interfaces in Romance, ed. by Herschensohn, Mallen and Zagona, 2001, 147-160), and “Sympathy meets Argentinian Spanish” (In: The nature of the word: essays in honor of Paul Kiparsky, ed. by K. Hanson and S. Inkelas, MIT Press, in press).
Dieter Kastovsky is Professor of English Linguistics at the University of Vienna and Director of the Center for Translation Studies. His main fields of interest include English morphology and word-formation (synchronic and diachronic), semantics, history of linguistics, and language typology. He is the author of Old English Deverbal Substantives Derived by Means of a Zero Morpheme (Esslingen/N. : Langer, 1968), Wortbildung und Semantik (Tubingen/Dusseldorf: k Francke/Bagel, 1982), and more than 80 articles on English morphology and wordformation (synchronic and diachronic), semantics, history of linguistics, and language typology.
Rochelle Lieber is Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire. Her publications include: Morphology and Lexical Semantics HANDBOOK OF WORD-FORMATION 3 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2004), Deconstructing Morphology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1992), and An Integrated Theory of Autosegmental Processes (New York: SUNY Press 1987), as well as numerous articles on various aspects of word formation and the interfaces between morphology and syntax, and morphology and phonology. Ad Neeleman is Reader in Linguistics at University College London.
His main research interests are case theory, the syntactic encoding of thematic dependencies, and the interaction between syntax and syntax-external systems. His main publications include Complex Predicates (1993), Flexible Syntax (1999, with Fred Weerman), Beyond Morphology (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2004, with Peter Ackema), as well as articles in Linguistic Inquiry, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, and Yearbook of Morphology. Franz Rainer is Professor of Romance languages at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration.
He is the author of Spanische Wortbildungslehre (Tubingen: Niemeyer, 1993) and co-editor (with Maria Grossmann) of La formazione delle parole in italiano (Tubingen: Niemeyer, 2004), both of these publications being comprehensive treatments of the word-formation in the respective languages. Tom Roeper, Professor of Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts, has written widely on morphology and language acquisiton, including compounds, nominalizations, implicit arguments, and derivationial morphology.
In the field of language aquisition, he is also Managing Editor of Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics (Kluwer), a Founding editor of Language Acquisition (Erlbaum), and also the author of Understanding and Producing Speech (London: Fontana, g 1983, co-authored with Ed Matthei), Parameter Setting (Dordrecht: Reidel, 1987, with E. Williams), Theoretical Issues in Language Acquisition (Hillsdale: Erlbaum, 1992, with H. Goodluck and J. Weissenborn), and the forthcoming The Prism of Grammar (MIT Press). Sergio Scalise is Professor of General Linguistics at the University of Bologna. He is the editor of the journal Lingue e Linguaggio.
His pulications include Generative Morphology (Dordrecht: Foris, 1984), Morfologia (Bologna: Il Mulino, 1994), and Le lingue e il Linguaggio (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2001 (with Giorgio Graffi)). Andrew Spencer is Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Language and Linguistics at the University of Essex. He has worked on various problems of phonological and morphological theory. In addition to English, his major language area is Slavic. He is the author of Morphological Theory (Oxford: Blackwells, 1991) and co-editor (with Arnold Zwicky) of the Handbook of Morphology (Oxford: Blackwells, 1998). CONTRIBUTORS Pavol Stekauer is Professor of English linguistics in the Department of British and American Studies, Presov University, Slovakia. His research has focused on an onomasiological approach to word-formation and on the history of research into word-formation. He is the author of A Theory of Conversion in English (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1996), An Onomasiological Theory of English Word-Formation (Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 1998)), and English Word-Formation. A History of Research (1960-1995).
Tubingen: Gunter Narr, 2000), and the forthcoming Meaning Predictability in Word-Formation (Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins) Gregory T. Stump is Professor of English and Linguistics at the University of Kentucky. His research has focused on the development of Paradigm Function Morphology. He is the author of The Semantic Variability of Absolute Constructions (Dordrecht: Reidel, 1985), Inflectional Morphology: A Theory of Paradigm Structure (Cambridge: CUP, 2001). He is currently serving as an Associate Editor of Language and as a Consulting Editor for Yearbook of Morphology.
Bogdan Szymanek is Professor of English linguistics, Head of the Department of Modern English, Catholic University of Lublin, Poland. His major research interests include morphology and its interfaces with other grammatical components, lexicology, English and Slavic languages. He is the author of Categories and categorization in morphology (RW KUL Lublin, 1988) and d Introduction to morphological analysis (PWN Warsaw, 1998 (3rd ed. )). David Tuggy has worked in Mexico with the Summer Institute of Linguistics since 1970.
His main areas of interest include Nahuatl, Cognitive f grammar, translation, lexicography, and inadvertent blends and other bloopers. He is an author of The transitivity-related morphology of Tetelcingo Nahuatl; An exploration in Space grammar (UCSD Doctoral dissertation, 1981), “The affix-stem r distinction; A Cognitive grammar analysis of data from Orizaba Nahuatl” (Cognitive Linguistics 3/3, 237-300), “The thing is is that people talk that way. The question is is why? ” (In: E. Casad (ed. ). 1995.
Cognitive linguistics in the redwoods; the expansion of a new paradigm in linguistics. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 713-752. ), and “ “Abrelatas and scarecrow nouns: Exocentric verb-noun compounds as illustrations of basic principles of Cognitive grammar” ( (International Journal of English Studies (2004) III, 25-61). Mark Volpe is a Ph. D candidate at SUNY at Stony Brook expecting to defend his dissertation on Japanese morphology in early spring 2005. He is currently a visiting lecturer in the Department of Humanities at Mie National University in Tsu, Japan.
He has published independently in Lingua and Snippets and has coauthored with Paolo Acquaviva, Mark Aronoff and Robert Beard. BASIC TERMINOLOGY ANDREW CARSTAIRS-MCCARTHY 1. THE NOTION OF THE LINGUISTIC SIGN In this introductory chapter I will discuss the notions ‘morpheme’ and ‘sign’ in relation to word-formation. The starting-point will be Ferdinand de Saussure’s notion ‘sign’ (signe) (Saussure 1973), which since the early twentieth century has influenced enormously how linguists have analysed words and parts of words as grammatical units.
There will be no tidy conclusion, partly because Saussure himself was vague on crucial points, and partly because among contemporary linguistic theorists there is little agreement about even the most fundamental aspects of how word-formation should be analysed and what terminology should be used in describing it. But I hope that this chapter will alert readers to some of the main risks of misunderstanding that they are sure to encounter later. 1 A handbook of English syntax in the twenty-first century would not be likely to begin with a discussion of Saussure. Why then does it make sense for a handbook on word-formation to do so?
There are two reasons. The first is that syntax is centrally concerned not with individual signs in Saussure’s sense but with combinations of signs. That makes it sound as if word-formation, by contrast, is concerned not with combinations of signs but only with individual signs. As to whether that implication is attractive or not, readers can in due course form their own opinions. For the present, it is enough to say that, in the opinion of most but not all linguists, the way in which meaningful elements are combined in syntax is different from how they are combined in complex words.
The second reason has to do with Saussure’s distinction between language as social convention (langue) and language as ( utterance (parole). Each language as langue belongs to a community of speakers and, because it is a social convention, individuals have no control over it. On the other hand, language as parole is something that individual speakers have control over; it consists of the use that individuals freely make of their langue in the sentences and phrases that they utter.
Hence, because syntax is concerned with the structure of sentences and phrases, Saussure seems to have considered the study of syntax as belonging to the study of parole, not langue (the exception being those sentences or phrases that are idioms or cliches and which therefore belong to langue because they are conventional rather than freely constructed). So, because his focus was on langue rather than parole, Saussure had little to say about syntax. 1 I will use ‘Saussure’ in this chapter as shorthand for ‘Saussure’s view as presented in the Cours de linguistique generale’.
The Cours is a posthumous compilation based on notes of various series of lectures that Saussure delivered over a number of years. Apparent inconsistencies in the Cours may be due to developments in Saussure’s thinking over time or faulty note-taking on the part of the compilers or both. Nevertheless, it is the Cours as a whole that has influenced subsequent linguists, and on that basis it is fair to discuss it as if it were created by one author as a single coherent work. 5 Stekauer P. and R. Lieber (eds. ), Handbook of Word-Formation, 5—23. 2005 Springer. Printed in the Netherlands. 6 ANDREW CARSTAIRS-MCCARTHY Saussure introduced his notion ‘sign’ with a famous example: a diagram consisting of an ellipse, the upper half containing a picture of a tree and the lower half containing the Latin word arbor ‘tree’ (Saussure Cours, part 1, chapter 1; 99; r 67). 2 The upper half of the diagram is meant to represent a concept, or what the sign signifies (its signifie), while the lower half represents the unit of expression in Latin that signifies it (the signifiant).
As Saussure acknowledges, the term ‘sign’ in its normal usage seems closer to the signifiant than the signifie, and at first one is t inclined to ask what the point is in distinguishing the signifiant from the sign as a t whole. Saussure’s answer lies largely in his view of how signs are related to each other. Signs (he says) do not function in isolation but rather have a ‘value’ (valeur) as part of a system (part 2, chapter 4; 155-69; 110-20). Concepts (signifies) do not exist in the world indepently of language but only as components of the signs to which they belong.
By this Saussure does not mean that (for example) trees have no real existence apart from language, but rather that the term for the concept ‘tree’ will differ in valeur from one language to another depending on whether or not that r language has, for example, contrasting terms for the concept ‘bush’ (a small tree) or the concept ‘timber’ (wood from trees for use in building or furniture-making). 3 Each signifie has a wider or narrower scope, according to how few or how many are the related signs that its sign contrasts with.
And with signifiants, too, what matters most is not the sounds or letters that compose them but their role in distinguishing one sign from another. Thus the Attic Greek verb forms ephe:n ‘I was saying’ and este:n ‘I stood’ both have the same structure (a prefix e-, a root, and a suffix -n), but their valeur within their respective verbal paradigms is different: ephe:n is an r ‘imperfect’ tense form while este:n is ‘aorist’. So far, so good, perhaps.
The Latin word arbor and the English word tree are r simple words, not analysable into smaller meaningful parts, and each is in Saussure’s terms a sign. But consider the word unhelpfulness, which seems clearly to consist of four elements, un-, help, -ful and -ness, each of which contributes in a l transparent way to the meaning of the whole. Consider also the words Londoner, Muscovite, Parisian, Roman, and Viennese, all meaning ‘inhabitant of ... ’, and all consisting of a stem followed by a suffix. What things count as signs here: the whole words, or the elements composing them, or both?
It is at this point that Saussure’s exposition becomes frustratingly unclear, as I will demonstrate presently. Let us call these elements ‘morphemes’. This is consistent with the usage of Baudouin de Courtenay, the inventor of the term, who speaks of ‘the unification of the concepts of root, affix, prefix, ending, and the like under the common term, morpheme’ (Baudouin de Courtenay 1972: 151) and defines it as ‘that part of a word which is endowed with psychological autonomy and is for the very same reason not 2
Because readers are likely to have access to Saussure’s Cours in various different editions and translations, I will give first a reference to the relevant part and chapter, then a page reference to the 1973 edition by Tullio de Mauro, and finally a page reference to the 1983 translation by Roy Harris. I quote passages from the Cours in the translation by Harris. I use Saussure’s original technical terms langue, parole, signifiant and signifie, for which no consistent English equivalents have become t established. 3 This illustration is mine, not Saussure’s, but is in the spirit of
Saussure’s discussion of how two English words sheep and mutton correspond to one French word mouton. BASIC TERMINOLOGY 7 further divisible’ (1972: 153). It is also consistent with rough-and-ready definitions of the kind offered in introductory linguistics courses, where morphemes are characterised as individually meaningful units which are minimal in the sense that they are not divisible into smaller meaningful units. 4 The question just posed now becomes: Do morphemes count as signs, or do only words count, or both?
Much of the divergence in how the term ‘morpheme’ is used can be seen as due to implicit or explicit attempts to treat morphemes as signs, despite the difficulties that quickly arise when one does so. These are difficulties that Saussure never confronts, because the term ‘morpheme’ never appears in the Cours. In Saussure’s defence, one can fairly plead that he could not be expected to cover every aspect of his notion of the sign in introductory lectures. Yet the question that I have just posed about morphemes is one that naturally arises almost as soon as the notion of the sign is introduced.
A case can be made for attributing to Saussure two diametrically opposed positions relating to the role of signs in word-formation. I will call these the morpheme-as-sign position and the word-as-sign position. I will first present evidence from the Cours for morphemes as signs, then present evidence for words as signs. 1. 1 Evidence for the morpheme-as-sign position in Saussure’s Cours The distinction between langue and parole is far from the only important binary distinction introduced by Saussure in his Cours.
Another is the distinction between syntagmatic relationships (involving elements in linear succession) and associative relationships (involving elements that contrast on a dimension of choice). 5 Elements that can be related syntagmatically include signs, and in particular the signifiants of signs, which are ‘presented one after another’ so as to ‘form a chain’ (part 1, chapter 1, section 3; 103; 70). Chains of items that form syntagmatically related combinations are called syntagmas (syntagmes) (part 2, chapter 5; 170-5; 121-5). Some syntagmas have meanings that are conventionalised or idiomatic.
This conventionalisation renders them part of langue. An example is the phrase prendre la mouche (literally ‘to take the fly’), which means ‘to take offence’ (part 2, chapter 5, section 2; 172; 123). However, the great majority of phrases and sentences have meanings that are transparent, not idiomatic. As such, they belong to parole, not to langue. As examples of syntagmas that belong to parole, Saussure cites contre tous ‘against all’, la vie humaine ‘human life’, Dieu est bon ‘God is good’, and s’il fait beau temps, nous sortirons ‘if it’s fine, we’ll go out’ (part 2, chapter 5, section 1; 170; 121).
These phrases and sentences do not constitute signs as wholes; rather, t 4 5 This resembles Bloomfield’s classic definition: ‘a linguistic form which bears no partial phoneticsemantic resemblance to any other form’ (1933: 161). One implication of the specification ‘partial’ is that two morphemes may display total phonetic identity (so as to be homonyms) or total semantic identity (so as to be synonyms). In the technical terminology of linguistics, the term ‘paradigmatic’, promoted by Louis Hjelmslev (1961), has come to replace ‘associative’ as the counterpart of ‘syntagmatic’.
But I will stick to Saussure’s term in this chapter. 8 ANDREW CARSTAIRS-MCCARTHY they are made up of smaller signs, namely the words or idiomatic expressions that they contain. On this basis, the question ‘Do morphemes count as signs? ’ can be refined as ‘Can morphemes as such compose syntagmas that belong to parole rather than to langue? ’ At first sight, the answer is yes. In the very same passage where Saussure gives the examples just quoted, he cites the word re-lire ‘to read again’.
Saussure uses the hyphen to draw attention to the divisibility of this word into two elements, re- ‘again’ and lire ‘to read’. The word relire thus has a meaning that is as transparent as that of unhelpfulness. Here, at least, it seems clear that Saussure intends us to analyse the morpheme re- as a sign, forming part of a syntagma that belongs to parole rather than to langue. Further evidence for this ‘morpheme-as-sign’ position seems to be supplied by Saussure’s discussion of suffixes such as -ment and -eux, and of zero signs.
The t words enseignement ‘instruction’, enseigner ‘to teach’ and enseignons ‘we teach’ t r clearly share what Saussure calls a ‘common element’. Similarly, the suffixes -ment and -eux are ‘common elements’ in the set of words enseignement, armement ‘armament’ and changement ‘change (noun)’, and in the set desir-eux ‘desirous’ t (from desir ‘desire’), chaleur-eux ‘warm’ (from chaleur ‘warmth’), and peur-eux r r ‘fearful’ (from peur ‘fear’) (part 2, chapter 5, section 3; 173-5; 123-5). 6 These r common elements are morphemes, in terms of our rough-and-ready definition.
Are they also signs, in Saussure’s sense? Saussure hints at the answer ‘yes’ when he discusses a set of instances where overt suffixes contrast with zero. In Czech, the noun zena ‘woman’ illustrates a widespread pattern in which the genitive plural form zen is differentiated from the other case-number forms, such as the accusative singular zenu and the nominative plural zeny, simply by the absence of a suffix. Here the genitive plural has as its exponent ‘zero’ or ‘the sign zero’ (part 1, chapter 3, section 3; 123-4; 86).
Surely then (one is inclined to think) the accusative singular suffix -u and the nominative plural suffix -y, both being morphemes in our sense, must have at least as much right as zero has to count as signs. It is tempting to conclude that, in complex words, Saussure recognises individual morphemes as signs provided that the complex word is regularly formed and semantically transparent. A reader of the Cours who looks for explicit confirmation of this tempting conclusion will be frustrated, however.
Many complex words other than re-lire and forms of zena are discussed, but always it is in contexts that emphasise the associative relationships of the word as a whole, rather than the syntagmatic relationship between the morphemes that compose it. These discussions point away from morphemes as signs and towards words as signs, therefore. 1. 2 Evidence for the word-as-sign position in Saussure’s Cours Closely parallel in structure to relire is the verb de-faire ‘to undo’, also discussed by Saussure (part 2, chapter 6, section 2; 177-8; 127-8). Again he uses a hyphen to draw attention to its internal structure.
The meaning of defaire, at least in many 6 The inconsistency in the use of hyphens here is Saussure’s. BASIC TERMINOLOGY 9 contexts, seems just as transparent as that of relire, on the basis of the meanings of faire ‘to do’ and de- implying reversal. Indeed, Saussure draws our attention to this transparency by citing the parallel formations decoller ‘to unstick’, deplacer ‘to r r remove’ (literally ‘to un-place’) and decoudre ‘to unsew’. However, comparing the discussion of relire, we find an important difference in emphasis here. With relire, the emphasis was on syntagmatic relationships.
With defaire, however, the emphasis is on the associative relationships that it enters into: not just with decoller, deplacer and decoudre but also with faire itself, refaire ‘to redo’, and contrefaire ‘to caricature’. Now, it is clear that contrefaire is something of an outsider in this list, because its meaning cannot be predicted from that of its elements faire and contre ‘against’. One might therefore have expected Saussure to say something like this: “Because of its unpredictable meaning, the syntagma contrefaire is conventionalised and belongs as a unitary sign to langue, so that contre and faire do not count as signs in this context.
However, the meanings of the other complex words I have cited are predictable, so they are examples of syntagmas that belong to parole, and in them the morphemes re- and de-, as well as the verb stems that accompany them, are signs. ” But what Saussure actually says is almost the opposite of that. The word defaire is decomposable into ‘smaller units’, he says, only to the extent that is ‘surrounded by’ those other forms (decoller, refaire and so on) on the axis of association. Moreover, a word such as desireux is ‘a product, a combination of interdependent elements, their value [i. . valeur] deriving solely from their mutual contributions within a larger unit’ (part 2, chapter 6, section 1; 176; 126). Recall that valeur is a property of signs, dependent on their place within the sign system as a r whole. Saussure’s words here imply, therefore, that in desireux, the ‘smaller unit’ or ‘element’ -eux, though clearly identifiable, is not a sign. Saussure hints that even the root desir, in the context of this word, does not count as a sign either, although it clearly does so when it appears as a word on its own. We are thus left with a contradiction.
The word relire is cited in a context that invites us to treat it as a unit of parole, not langue, composed of signs, just like the sentence If it’s fine, we’ll go out. On the other hand, the discussion surrounding defaire insists on its status as a unit of langue, a sign as a whole, composed of ‘elements’ or ‘smaller units’ that are not signs. On the basis of my presentation so far, the evidence for the two positions (morpheme-as-sign and word-as-sign) may seem fairly evenly balanced. But there are solid reasons to think that the word-as-sign position more closely reflects Saussure’s true view.
Consider the French number word dix-neuf ‘nineteen’ (literally f ‘ten-nine’). In such a transparent compound as this, the two morphemes dix and neuf, being words (and hence signs) on their own, must surely still count as signs f (one may think). But no, says Saussure: dix-neuf does not contain parts that are signs f any more than vingt ‘twenty’ does (part 2, chapter 6, section 3; 181; 130). The t difference between dix-neuf and vingt, as he presents it, involves a new distinction: f t between signs that are motivated and signs that are unmotivated.
The sign vingt is unmotivated in that it is purely arbitrary: the sounds (or letters) that make it up give f no clue to its meaning. The sign dix-neuf however, contains subunits which give clues to its meaning that could hardly be stronger. Even so, according to Saussure, 10 ANDREW CARSTAIRS-MCCARTHY dix-neuf is still a single sign on the same plane as vingt or neuf or soixante-dix f t f ‘seventy’ (literally ‘sixty-ten’). It is the valeur of dix-neuf in the system of French r f number words that imposes on it the status of a unitary sign, despite its semantic transparency. Saussure might also have added that this transparency, real though it is, depends on a convention that belongs to French langue, not parole: the convention that concatenation of dix and neuf means ‘ten plus nine’, not ‘ten times f nine’ or ‘ten to the ninth power’, for example. His neglect of this point reflects his general neglect of syntactic and syntagmatic convention. 7 Similarly, the English plural form ships is motivated because it ‘recall[s] a whole series like flags, birds, books, etc. ’, while men and sheep are unmotivated because they ‘recall no parallel cases’.
The plural suffix -(e)s is, in the English-speaking world, among the first halfdozen ‘morphemes’ that every beginning student of linguistics is introduced to. Yet for Saussure it does not count as sign; it is merely a reason for classifying the words that it appears in (ships, flags etc. ) as relatively motivated signs rather than purely d arbitrary ones. There is thus a striking discrepancy between the word-centred approach to complex words, predominant in the work of the pioneer structuralist Saussure, and the morpheme-centred approach that (as we shall see) predominated among his structuralist successors.
In section 2 I will outline the attractions and pitfalls of morpheme-centred approaches. 2. MORPHEME AND WORD Saussure recognised some of the difficulties inherent in using ‘word’ as a technical term (part 2, chapter 2, section 3). Nevertheless, when illustrating his notion ‘sign’, he chose linguistic units that in ordinary usage would be classified as r r words, such as Latin arbor ‘tree’ and French juger ‘to judge’ (part 1, chapter 1, section 1; part 2, chapter 4, section 2).
This may be largely because the languages from which he drew his examples were nearly all well-studied European languages with a long written history and a tradition of grammatical and lexical analysis in f terms of which the identification of words (in some sense) was uncontroversial. However, accompanying the theoretical developments in linguistics in the early twentieth century was an explosion in fieldwork on non-Indo-European languages, particularly in the Americas and Africa. In these languages, lacking a European-style tradition of grammatical description, identifying words as linguistic units often seemed problematic.
In fact, there was a strong current of opinion according to which the word deserves no special status in linguistic description, and in particular no special status warranting a distinction between the internal structure of words (‘morphology’) and the internal structure of phrases and sentences (‘syntax’). As Malinowski put it, ‘isolated words are in fact only linguistic figments, the products of an advanced linguistic analysis’ (Malinowski 1935: 11, cited by Robins 1990: 154). So what units are appropriate as tools for a preliminary linguistic analysis?
It seemed natural to answer: those units that are clearly indivisible grammatically and t 7 I owe this point to Harris (1987: 132). BASIC TERMINOLOGY 11 lexically, or, in other words, units of the kind that we provisionally labelled ‘morphemes’ in section 1. Thus, despite Saussure’s leaning towards the word-assign position, the experience of fieldwork on languages unfamiliar to most European and American scholars imposed a preference for a version of the morpheme-as-sign position. Where, then, does the morpheme-as-sign position leads us?
Let us recall first the Saussurean norm of what constitutes a signifiant: a sequentially ordered string of sounds, such as Latin [arbor] (spelled arbor) or French [ y e] (spelled juger), such that every unit of parole is analysable exhaustively as a string of signifiants (part 1, chapter 1, section 3). What we will observe is a temptation towards signs with signifiants that deviate progressively further from this norm. The analyses that I will discuss are based on an approach to morphemes that was expounded in particular by Zellig S. Harris (1942), Charles F.
Hockett (1947), Bernard Bloch (1947) and Eugene A. Nida (1948). None of these explicitly espouses the morpheme-as-sign position, because none of them cites Saussure. However, the issues that they discuss can all be seen as prima facie difficulties for that position. The fact that all these references are clustered more than half a century ago reflects the replacement of f morphology by syntax at the centre of grammatical theory-construction. Nevertheless, I will comment in section 3 on uses of the term ‘morpheme’ since about 1960. 2. Case study: English noun plural forms (part 1) f For Saussure, as we have seen, the -s suffix of flags and ships is not a sign but an element that renders those words relatively motivated, by contrast with men and sheep. Let us say instead that this -s suffix is indeed a sign, with the signifie ‘plural’. What is its signifiant? So far as English spelling is concerned, the answer is simple. When we turn to phonology, however, we encounter our first stumbling-block. In a conventional phonemic transcription for these two words, the suffix will appear in two different shapes, /z/ and /s/, (/fl? , ps/), and there is yet a third shape, either / z/ or / z/, according to dialect, found in words such as roses, horses, churches and judges. 8 Must we then recognise three different signs with the same signifie? Such an analysis would place these three signs on a par with sets of synonyms such as courgettes and zucchini, or nearly and almost. That is hardly satisfactory, because it neglects the role of phonology in determining the complementary distribution of the three shapes: / z/ appears after strident coronal sounds, while elsewhere /z/ appears after voiced sounds and /s/after voiceless ones.
It was in relation to patterns such as this that the term ‘allomorph’ was first introduced in morphology. The intended parallel with the notions ‘phoneme’ and ‘allophone’ is evident. Just as sounds that are phonetically similar and in 8 In my dialect, the third shape is / z/, so that taxes sounds the same as taxis, but roses sounds different from Rosa’s. For many speakers of other dialects, the homophony pattern is the other way round. The examples that I will discuss fit my own dialect, but similar examples can easily be constructed to t make the same point for speakers with the other homophony pattern. 2 ANDREW CARSTAIRS-MCCARTHY complementary distribution count as allophones of one phoneme, so individually meaningful units that are not divisible into smaller meaningful units, provided that they are synonymous and in complementary distribution, count as allomorphs of one morpheme. And just as it is the allophones of a phoneme that get pronounced, rather than the phoneme itself, a morpheme is likewise not pronounced directly, but represented in the speech chain by whichever of its allomorphs is appropriate for the context.
This applies even to morphemes that have the same shape in all contexts, because there is no reason in principle why a morpheme should not have only one allomorph, just as a phoneme may have only one allophone. Notice, however, that that phrase ‘individually meaningful units that are not divisible into smaller meaningful units’ is lifted from my provisional definition of ‘morpheme’ in section 1. It seems, then, that our exploration of the morpheme-assign position has led us already to a dilemma.
If the units / z/, /z/ and /s/ are l Saussurean signs, just like the units / n/ (un-), /help/ (help), /f l/ (-ful) and /n s/ (-ness) that served to introduce the ‘morpheme’ notion in section 1, then we must concede that the units that deserve ‘sign’ status, as an alternative to words, are not after all morphemes but allomorphs of morphemes. 9 Furthermore, if / z/, /z/ and /s/ are all signifiants of signs whose signifie is ‘plural’, the morpheme that they all belong to seems somehow superfluous from the point of view of the Saussurean t sign, constituting neither a signifiant nor a signifie.
On the other hand, if we wish to continue to say that it is morphemes that are signs, rather than allomorphs, we must depart from the Saussurean doctrine that a signifiant is a linearly ordered string t within the speech chain (/ z/, for example), and say instead that it is, or may be, a set d of linearly ordered strings in complementary distribution (/ z/, /z/ and /s/, in this instance). The fact that the distribution of these allomorphs is phonologically conditioned may suggest an escape from this dilemma.
If the choice between the three allomorphs is determined purely by constraints of English phonology, then perhaps we can say that, in phonological terms at least (although not phonetic), we really are dealing with only one string within the speech chain, not three. If so, the problem of multiple signifiants disappears, and the plural -s suffix conforms to the norm for a Saussurean sign. The stumbling-block is not quite so easily surmounted, however. English phonological constraints do not supply a conclusive verdict on which allomorph is appropriate in all contexts.
There are many contexts where more than one of the three allomorphs is phonologically admissible, and some contexts where all three are. Consider the noun pen /pen/. Its plural form is /penz/, complying with the generalisation that the voiced form of the suffix appears after voiced sounds (other than coronal stridents). But this is not because the alternative suffix shapes yield bad phonotactic combinations. Both /pens/ and / pen z/ are phonologically wellformed, and indeed both exist as words (pence and pennies). So something more than pure ( phonotactics is at work in the choice between the three allomorphs.
Only in terms of a phonological theory more sophisticated than any available in Saussure’s time (for 9 This is the view defended by Me uk (1993-2000). BASIC TERMINOLOGY 13 example, contemporary Optimality Theory) can we motivate a single phonological underlier for all three. Around the middle of the twentieth century, problems such as the one we have just encountered were typically handled by positing a level of analysis in some degree distinct from both phonology and morphology, called morphophonology (sometimes abbreviated to morphonology) or morphophonemics.
The terms ‘morphophonology’ and ‘morphophonological’ are sometimes used to mean simply ‘(pertaining to) the interface between morphology and phonology’. However, morphophonemics has a more specific sense, implying a unit called a morphophoneme. In this instance, one might posit a morphophoneme /Z/ (say), realised phonologically as / z/, /z/ or /s/, according to the context. 10 This allows us to posit a single signifiant underlying / z/, /z/ and /s/, but at the cost (again) of t recognising a signifiant which departs from Saussure’s norm in that it is not t pronounceable directly.
The morphophoneme /Z/, as just described, is realised by allomorphs that are distributed on a phonological basis. But complementary distribution may be based on grammar rather than phonology. English nouns such as wife, loaf and bath supply f f f an illustration of this. In the singular, they end in a voiceless fricative: /waif/, /louf/, / /ba /. In the plural, however, their stems end in a voiced fricative (/waiv/, /louv/, /ba /). (This difference between the singular and plural stems is reflected orthographically in wives and loaves, though not in paths. The allomorph of the plural suffix that accompanies them is therefore, as expected, the one that appears after voiced sounds: /z/. Do the singular and plural stems therefore belong to distinct morphemes? To say so would be consistent with Baudouin de Courtenay’s usage. However, more recent linguists, influenced by the identity in meaning and the nearcomplete identity in sound in pairs such as has wife and wive-, have always treated them as allomorphs of one morpheme.
Yet there is nothing phonological about the plural suffix that enforces the selection of the voiced-fricative allomorph. The noun wife itself can carry the possessive marker -’s to yield a form wife’s /waifs/ with a voiceless fricative in a phonologically wellformed cluster. Moreover, not all nouns whose stems end in voiceless fricatives exhibit this voicing in the plural; for example, it does not occur in the plural forms fifes, oafs or breaths.
So the voicing is restricted both lexically (it occurs in some nouns only) and grammatically (it occurs only when the plural suffix /Z/ follows). Some morphologists have handled this by positing morphophonemes such as /F/ and / /, units that are realised as a voiced phoneme in the plural and a voiceless one in the singular (Harris 1942). These nouns 10 The convention of using capital letters to represent morphophonemes was quite widespread in the mid twentieth century (see e. g. Harris 1942). But capital letters were also used to represent a purely phonological notion, the archiphoneme.
An archiphoneme is a unit that replaces two or more phonemes in a context where the contrast between them is unavailable, as for example in German the m contrast between /t/ and /d/ is unavailable in syllable codas. The [t] that appears in codas in German was often said to realise not /t/, which would imply a contrast with /d/, but an archiphoneme /T/, t d implying no such contrast. It is important not to be misled by notation into confusing t morphophonemes with archiphonemes. 14 ANDREW CARSTAIRS-MCCARTHY an then be represented morphophonologically (rather than phonologically) as /waiF/, /louF/ and /ba /. The morphophoneme can be seen as a device which enables a morpheme to be t analysed as having a single signifiant (and thus as constituting a single Saussurean sign) even when in terms of its phonology it seems necessary to recognise multiple allomorphs and hence multiple signifiants – a possibility that Saussure does not allow for. But is the morphophoneme device capable of handling all multipleallomorph patterns satisfactorily? The answer is no, as I will demonstrate in the next subsections. . 2 Case study: the perfect participle forms of English verbs I use ‘perfect participle’ to refer to the form in which the lexical verb appears when accompanied by the auxiliary have, as in I have waited, I have played, I have swum. The regular English perfect participle suffix -(e)d has three shapes, /t/, /d/ and d 11 / d/. These are distributed in a fashion closely parallel to the allomorphs of the noun plural suffix: / d/ appears after coronal plosives, while elsewhere /d/ appears after voiced sounds and /t/ after voiceless ones.
But, just as with the noun plural suffix, phonology alone does not always guarantee the correct choice of suffix. For d t example, /’k? n d/, /k? nd/ and /k? nt/ are all phonologically possible words and indeed actual words: canid ‘member of the subgroup of mammals to which wolves d and dogs belong’, canned ‘contained in a can’ and cant ‘hypocrisy’. These suffix d t shapes therefore illustrate the same stumbling-block and the same dilemma as the three shapes of the plural suffix.
One way of handling this, as with the plural suffix, is to posit a morphophoneme (say, /D/), realised as /t/, /d/ or / d/, according to the phonological context. However, the perfect participle exhibits complications, one of which is not paralleled in noun plurals. Some verbs have a perfect participle form with the suffix t d /t/ (orthographically -t rather than -ed) which appears even where /d/ would be expected, because the last sound of the verb stem is voiced, or where / d/ would be expected, because what precedes is a coronal plosive.
Examples of these ‘orthographic-t’ verbs are build (perfect participle built), bend (bent), feel (felt), keep d t d t l t (kept), spell (spelt), lose (lost), teach (taught), and buy (bought). Corresponding to t l t t t each of these it is possible to find a verb with a similar stem shape but whose perfect participle is formed with /t/, /d/ or / d/ according to the regular pattern: (1) Orthographic-t verbs Base Perfect participle build built bend bent feel felt Regular verbs Base gild tend peel Perfect participle gilded tended eeled 11 In many dialects other than mine, the third allomorph is not / d/ but / d/. This does not affect my d d argument, however. BASIC TERMINOLOGY 15 seeped heaved felled oozed bleached lied keep leave spell lose teach buy kept left spelt lost taught bought seep heave fell ooze bleach lie As is clear, a further characteristic of orthographic-t verbs is that they nearly t always display a stem form that differs from the base or present-tense stem. What immediately concerns us is the suffix, however.
Is it or is it not a distinct morpheme from the regular /t/ (spelt -ed) which is in complementary distribution with / d/ and d /d/? If we answer ‘yes’, we implicitly claim that the fact that /t/ is a common allomorph of the -ed morpheme as well as the sole allomorph of the -t morpheme is d t a mere coincidence. But, just as with wife and wive-, it goes against the grain to posit two distinct morphemes with the same meaning and such similar shapes. Thus the consensus in analyses of English verb morphology is that ‘orthographic-t’ in an allomorph of the same morpheme that regular /t/, /d/ and / d/ belon
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