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Extending the Applicability of Lexical Mapping Theory

Kibort, Anna (2008) Extending the Applicability of Lexical Mapping Theory In: Proceedings of the LFG07 Conference, Stanford University. CSLI Publications, Stanford, CA, pp. 250-270.


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LFG grants syntactic functions a central role and has developed a theory of argument structure, Lexical Mapping Theory (LMT), which is independent of phrase-structure trees and thus able to account for morpholexical derivations. Yet some fundamental phenomena falling within the scope of morpholexical analysis – such as morphosemantic (meaning-altering) operations, phenomena referred to elsewhere as ‘demotions’, or subjectlessness –are currently denied satisfactory LMT accounts. This paper offers a way of extending LMT to phenomena which are awkward or impossible to handle with the current widely accepted versions of LMT.

While retaining the main component of LMT – the feature decomposition of syntactic functions – I suggest the following set of revisions: (1) restoring the early LFG distinction between argument positions and semantic roles; (2) allowing the semantic participants to change order and re-associate with different argument positions for non-default (morphosemantically altered) mappings; (3) fixing the order of (syntactic) argument positions; (4) reformulating the principles of argument-to-function mapping to make fuller use of the markedness hierarchy of syntactic functions and render the Subject Condition redundant; and (5) using a mechanism of increasing markedness to account for morphosyntactic operations referred to as ‘demotions’ in RG. I demonstrate that these revisions make LMT a cleaner formalism which is immediately applicable to some important phenomena that have so far escaped (good) analyses.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Literature and Languages > English > Surrey Morphology Group
Authors :
Editors :
Butt, Miriam
Holloway King, Tracy
Date : 1 January 2008
Additional Information : In: Butt, Miriam & Tracy Holloway King (eds) Proceedings of the LFG07 Conference, Stanford University. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications. 250-270. © 2007 CSLI Publications, Stanford University. Reproduced with permission from the publishers.
Depositing User : Mr Adam Field
Date Deposited : 27 May 2010 14:37
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 14:00

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