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Title: Morphemes in Polysynthetic Languages
Submitter: Kela Ruuskanen
Description: In a polysynthetic language, can a morpheme have a meaning in and of itself
without being used in an utterance? Can you please provide an example of
such a morpheme, and the name of the language? I have been told that such a
morpheme does not exist, that an 'utterance' in a polysynthetic language
must consist of a complete sentence. Is this the case?

This leads to a further question: how can you have morpheme to morpheme
translating dictionaries for a polysynthetic language, if no morpheme has
meaning alone? Are translating 'glosses' of phrases the only reference
possible for translators?

Thanks very much for your input.

Kela
Date Posted: 26-Oct-2010
Linguistic Field(s): Morphology
Typology
LL Issue: 21.4248
Posted: 26-Oct-2010

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