This book is relevant for phonologists, morphologists, Slavists and
cognitive linguists, and addresses two questions: How can the
morphology-phonology interface be accommodated in cognitive linguistics? Do
morphophonological alternations have a meaning? These questions are
explored via a comprehensive analysis of stem alternations in Russian
verbs. The analysis is couched in R.W. Langacker's Cognitive Grammar
framework, and the book offers comparisons to other varieties of cognitive
linguistics, such as Construction Grammar and Conceptual Integration. The
proposed analysis is furthermore compared to rule-based and
constraint-based approaches to phonology in generative grammar.
Without resorting to underlying representations or procedural rules, the
Cognitive Linguistics framework facilitates an insightful approach to
abstract phonology, offering the important advantage of restrictiveness.
Cognitive Grammar provides an analysis of an entire morphophonological
system in terms of a parsimonious set of theoretical constructs that all
have cognitive motivation. No ad hoc machinery is invoked, and the analysis
yields strong empirical predictions. Another advantage is that Cognitive
Grammar can identify the meaning of morphophonological alternations. For
example, it is argued that stem alternations in Russian verbs conspire to
signal non-past meaning.
This book is accessible to a broad readership and offers a welcome
contribution to phonology and morphology, which have been understudied in