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Academic Paper


Title: Solving the bracketing paradox: an analysis of the morphology of German particle verbs
Author: Stefan Mueller
Institution: Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
Linguistic Field: Morphology
Subject Language: German
Abstract: Inflectional affixes are sensitive to morphological properties of the stems of the verbs they attach to. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that the inflectional material is combined with both the verbal stem of simplex verbs and the verbal stem of particle verbs. It has been argued that this leads to a bracketing paradox in the case of particle verbs since the semantic contribution of the inflectional information scopes over the complete particle verb. I will discuss nominalizations and adjective derivation, which are also problematic because of various bracketing paradoxes. I will suggest a solution to these paradoxes that assumes that inflectional and derivational prefixes and suffixes always attach to a form of a stem that already contains the information about a possible particle, but without containing a phonological realization of the particle. As is motivated by syntactic properties of particle verbs, the particle is treated as a dependent of the verb. The particle is combined with its head after inflection and derivation. With such an approach no special mechanisms for the analysis of particle verbs are necessary.

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This article appears IN Journal of Linguistics Vol. 39, Issue 2.

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