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Morphological reversals

Baerman, M (2007) Morphological reversals Journal of Linguistics, 43 (1). 33 - 61. ISSN 0022-2267


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The term morphological reversal describes the situation where the members of a morphological opposition switch their functions in some context (as with Hebrew gender marking, where -Ø ~ -a marks masculine ~ feminine with adjectives but feminineymasculine with numerals). There is a long tradition of polemic against the notion that morphology can encode systematic reversals, and an equally long tradition of reintroducing them under different names (e.g. polarity, exchange rules or morphosyntactic toggles). An examination of some unjustly neglected examples (number in Nehan, aspect in Tubatulabal, tense in Trique and argument marking in Neo-Aramaic) confirms the existence of morphological reversal, particularly as a mechanism of language change. This is strong evidence for the separateness of morphological paradigms from the features that they encode.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences > English and Languages > English > Surrey Morphology Group
Authors :
Date : 1 March 2007
Identification Number : 10.1017/S0022226706004440
Uncontrolled Keywords : Social Sciences, Linguistics, Language & Linguistics, LINGUISTICS
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Mr Adam Field
Date Deposited : 27 May 2010 14:40
Last Modified : 04 Sep 2014 13:33

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