LINGUIST List 4.484

Sat 19 Jun 1993

Sum: Morphology & Mind

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  1. Gregory V. Gouzev, Morphology & Mind

Message 1: Morphology & Mind

Date: Thu, 17 Jun 93 11:39:40 EDMorphology & Mind
From: Gregory V. Gouzev <>
Subject: Morphology & Mind


I posted a request for more information on Hall's book "Morphology
and Mind" a week ago. Numerous replies have come since then, and I
don't have a possibility to list all who cared to reply. Thank you
very much indeed! One of them, however, had a short description
of the book. It came from prof. Robert Hamilton and follows below.
I want to thank him for his readiness to help and sending me a
full-sized review which will, hopefully, appear in "Language".

 Yours, Gregory Gouzev.

>Subject: MORH and MIND

Dear Gregory:
 Here is the info on Hall's book:

Hall, Christopher. 1992. Morphology and mind: A unified approach to
explanation in linguistics. (Theoretical Linguistics.) New York: Routledge.

The publisher's address is: Routledge, Chapman and Hall, Inc.
 29 West 35th Str., New York, NY 10001

I don't have their phone, but you could get it from your reference
librarian. I also don't know the price offhand--I borrowed my copy from
our library.

Hall's book is fascinating: he seeks to account for the predominance
of suffixation over prefixation in the world's languages in a more
comprehensive way than has been done before. He basically argues
for a functional explanation drawing on psycholinguistic processing
facts in union with a theory of diachronic change in the primary
language acquisition process. The crux of his analysis is of
'flirting' analyses made by the language acquirer wherein a morpheme
formerly analyzed as free is analyzed as bound, but not completely so.
Using a cohort model of lexical access, he argues that flirting
analyses involve the activation of two cohorts within a single lexical
entry (a nonflirting analysis of a typical word would instead involve
activation of a single cohort within a single lexical entry). His main
point is that flirting analyses are more readily retained where the
newly analyzed bound morpheme is a suffix rather than a prefix. He caps
off the book with a new psycholinguistic gating experiment designed to
show the feasibility of flirting analyses (I consider this experiment
to be crucially flawed due to his choice of subjects--apparently adults--
from which he attempts to generalize to children acquiring a native

I have submitted a book review of this book to _Language_ and would
gladly attach a copy of it to this message except that I have no easy
way to transfer it from my file to this e-mail format. But I hope the
above brief summary helps.

Bob Hamilton, University of South Carolina

5310 Two Notch Rd #24
Columbia SC 29204, USA
(803) 786-9621
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