LINGUIST List 27.2950

Wed Jul 13 2016

Confs: Ling Theories, Morphology, Phonology, Semantics, Syntax/Germany

Editor for this issue: Anna White <>

Date: 12-Jul-2016
From: Artemis Alexiadou <>
Subject: The Word and the Morpheme
E-mail this message to a friend

The Word and the Morpheme

Date: 22-Sep-2016 - 24-Sep-2016
Location: Berlin, Germany
Contact: Artemis Alexiadou
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories; Morphology; Phonology; Semantics; Syntax

Meeting Description:

The word is a central notion in descriptive linguistics but has persistently resisted theoretical analysis. As Bolinger put it in 1963, “Why is it that the element of language which the naive speaker feel that he knows best is the one about which linguists say the least?” Phonological, morphological, lexical and syntactic diagnostics frequently misalign, leading to multiple overlapping but imperfectly matching notions of word.

In Lexicalist approaches to grammar (e.g. Kiparsky 1982, Williams 1981, 2003, Levin and Rappaport Hovav 2005) the word is an axiomatic unit, the encapsulated output of a word formation component (WF), with phonological, syntactic, and semantic properties, and input to the syntax. On such accounts, morphemes are the minimal listed sound-meaning pairings which are building blocks for WF (see also Wunderlich 1996 and later). The Lexicalist approach is also compatible with an ‘amorphous,’ or process-based approach to morphology (Anderson 1992, Beard 1995), it is said that there are no morphemes, rather exponence is the effect of morphophonological rules applying in WF. Mueller (2013) goes one step further by allowing rules of exponence greater access to the phonological properties of exponents.

Lexicalist accounts posit two distinct components, namely WF and the syntax, with many similarities between them. Syntactic approaches to word formation eliminate the redundancy by allowing word formation to take place in the syntax. Distributed Morphology (DM) is the most prominent and influential of these (Halle and Marantz 1993, Marantz 1997, Alexiadou 2001, Embick and Noyer 2007, Harley 2014, Embick 2015). In DM, lexical stems are built from uncategorized roots by merging them with a categorizing head. Each functional head, including derivational and inflectional elements, is a morpheme, and various operations combine them into maximal X0s, which are words. Starke’s (2009) Nanosyntax follows DM in eliminating the WF component and building all words in syntax, but deviates from DM in allowing exponent insertion to target phrasal nodes. Each head corresponds to a single feature, and a morpheme is a phrasal constituent created by syntactic operations of merge and move.

Borer (2005ab, 2013) pursues a different view with Exo-skeletal Syntax (ES). In ES, lexical words are based on categoriless roots: category is implied directly by the functional structure. Unlike DM, ES distinguishes sharply between derivational morphology and inflectional morphology. Derivational heads correspond to morphemes, but inflectional heads are realized amorphously. A bound inflectional affix is not a morpheme, but is rather the phonological material added to a stem by a morphological rule. Heads in the extended projection therefore have a special status in ES for the purposes of word formation. This is also true of Spanning (Ramchand 2008, Svenonius 2012, 2016), a development of Mirror Theory (Brody 2000), in which there is a strong bidirectional correlation between words and spans, or sequences of heads in an extended projection. Spanning shares with nanosyntax the proposal that morphemic exponents can be larger than a syntactic head, and also follows it in cleaving closer to DM than to ES when it comes to treating morphemic exponents as lexical items rather than rules, the treatment of morphology as essentially concatenative (Bye and Svenonius 2012), and the downplaying of the distinction between inflection and derivation.


Thursday September 22



David Pesetsky

Restrictions on allomorphy across words
Víctor Acedo-Matellan

12:25-14:00 Lunch

Monotonic DM as consequence of a pairing with LFG
Ash Asudeh & Daniel Siddiqi

Locality of Allomorhy and Allosemy: A Reply to Marantz (2013)
Yusuke Yoda

Morphemes in Competition
Paul Kiparsky

Poster session with coffee

David Embick


Friday September 23

Minimize Satisfaction in Harmonic Serialism
Gereon Müller

M-word vs. ω-word: Top down prosody vs. bottom up syntax
Güliz Günes & Asli Göksel

12:10-13:30 Lunch

Hagit Borer

How syntax and phonology d(e)rive (Na-Dene) morphology
James Crippen & Rose-Marie Déchaine

15:40-16:10 Coffee break

The zero-derived causative alternation in Hebrew is rare, but systematic
Itamar Kastner

The Dual Nature of Lithuanian reflexive -si-: the DM approach
Milena Sereikaite

Elena Anagnostopoulou

Conference dinner

Saturday September 24

Phonological affixation
Heather Newell

Phrasal polysynthetic words in Inuit: evidence from syntax and phonology
Richard Compton, Anja Arnhold & Emily Elfner

12:10-13:30 Lunch

Computational modeling of hierarchical morphological structures
Yohei Oseki & Alec Marantz

Peter Svenonius

15:10-15:30 Coffee break

Dieter Wunderlich


Poster Presentations:

Multifunctionality in Icelandic morphology: Inflectional endings as diacritics
Kristján Árnason

A Constraint on Double Negation
Karen De Clercq & Guido Vanden Wyngaerd

The Structures of Denominal Location and Locatum Verbs in Kavalan
Dong-yi Lin

Roots, voice and anti-causativity within the word
Mohamed Naji

Two types of multi-lexeme derivatives in Spanish
Katya Pertsova

The status of the N1 in compounds
Stefanie Roessler, Thomas Weskott & Anke Holler

Phonology- Morphology Interface: A Case Study of Stress Assignment in Magahi
Sweta Sinha

More distributed than Distributed Morphology: Rethinking the shape of mental lexicon
Julio C. Song

A change in gender morphemes for evaluative purposes
Olga Steriopolo & Elena Steriopolo


Please register by September 1 by filling out this form:

Page Updated: 13-Jul-2016