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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Semantics of Spanish Morphology Add Dissertation
Author: Carlos Benavides Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Iowa, Department of Linguistics
Completed in: 1999
Linguistic Subfield(s): Morphology; Semantics;
Subject Language(s): Spanish
Director(s): Alice Davison
William Davies
Sarah Fa
Paula Kempchinsky

Abstract: This study focuses on the analysis of Spanish derivational morphology (e.g. the derivative demol + icion 'demolition') and presents a morphosemantic model that contributes to a solution of the problem of the lack of semantic analyses within derivational morphology. The three key elements of the model are the mechanisms of feature percolation and subcategorization/selection, and the notion of slot structure. Crucial to the model is that both percolation and subcategorization/selection, as well as slot structure, take into account both syntactic and semantic information, including information about argument structure. Models that separate syntactic from semantic information need to posit three separate types of rules acting independently of each other: subcategorization rules, selectional rules, and rules that deal with argument structure. By contrast, the present model reduces the machinery of the grammar by proposing only two mechanisms (percolation and subcategorization/selection) that depend on each other and act in concert. In addition, the mechanism of percolation integrates slot structure into the system by manipulating its content. Within the model, several principles, conditions and constraints that have been proposed in the morphological literature are incorporated in the mechanisms of percolation and subcategorization/selection. In addition to Spanish derivation, the model adequately accounts for non-derivational affixation (e.g. inflection), as well as the derivational morphology of several languages genetically unrelated to Spanish, which suggests that the notions of percolation, subcategorization/selection, and slot structure are universal constructs.