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Academic Paper

Title: A Two-Level Approach to Morphological Structure
Author: Richard Wiese
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Philipps-Universität Marburg
Linguistic Field: Morphology; Phonology; Syntax
Abstract: In morphological theory, various models have been developed with respect to the appropriate levels of abstraction for stating morphological generalizations. This paper addresses a class of seemingly marginal and/or problematic phenomena in morphology and proposes that morphological descriptions regularly refer to two distinct levels of description. One is the level of “morphosyntax,” and one is the level of “morphophonology.” Furthermore, morphology is considered to be marginal if and only if the degree of isomorphy between representations on these two levels is reduced. This basic proposal is illustrated and tested with several central phenomena of morphology found in German: synthetic compounds, conversion, empty morphs, and trun-cation. The analysis proposed here argues for the necessity of a two-level model of morphology as an approach in which both abstract morphosyntax as well as more concrete morphophonology have a place.


This article appears IN Journal of Germanic Linguistics Vol. 20, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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