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Summary Details

Query:   Morphosyntactic Features
Author:  Mike_Maxwell Mike_Maxwell
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Syntax

Summary:   In LINGUIST List 9.1405, I asked whether anyone knew of work on universals of
morphosyntactic features, parallel to the familiar sorts of (hopefully)
universal phonetic features such as [voiced], [coronal] etc.

That was back in October, and I regret to say that I've received only one reply
(plus a query or two along the same line). The reply comes from Phoevos
Panagiotidis (, who I understand is working on his PhD in the
Department of Language and Linguistics at the University of Essex. He kindly
shared a portion of his thesis having to do with person features, in which he
argues for the features [+/- speaker] and [+/- hearer], and cites as references

Banveniste (1966), Ingram (in J.H. Greenberg's "Universals of human language
v.3"), and Halle (1997) in MITWPL.

This and some work by Noyer at MIT (under Halle) on number features, plus the
older work on part of speech (category) features by Chomsky and by Jackendoff,
is all I know of. I find it surprising that there aren't more results on
morphosyntactic feature universals, but I guess that means it's a wide open
field for graduate students!

BTW, I had earlier posted a similar query to the HPSG mailing list, but got no

Mike Maxwell
Summer Institute of Linguistics

LL Issue: 9.1599
Date Posted: 13-Nov-1998
Original Query: Read original query


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