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A typological approach to the morphome

Herce, Borja (2020) A typological approach to the morphome Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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This dissertation constitutes the first typologically-oriented monograph on morphomes, which is the term given to systematic morphological identities that do not map onto morphosyntactic or semantic natural classes like ‘plural’, ‘past’, ‘third person singular’ etc. Chapter 1 discusses terminology and the relevant literature on this unusual phenomenon and Chapter 2 introduces some necessary clarifications with respect to the identification and definition of morphomes. From there, the discussion moves to more empirical matters. In Chapter 3, the notions of naturalness and economy are discussed in detail, and the connection of morphomicity to other morphological phenomena is explored. Diachrony takes then centre stage, as Chapter 4 presents the different ways in which morphomic structures may emerge, change, and disappear from a language. Chapter 5 constitutes the core of the dissertation and presents 110 morphomic structures that the author has identified across the world’s languages. These structures are presented with great qualitative detail along with their diachronic history if known. On the basis of the synchronic variation across the morphomes, a dozen logically independent variables have been identified (in the spirit of Canonical or Multivariate Typology) as relevant to describing these structures in the most fine-grained detail. These variables have been operationalized into quantitative measures. After establishing the values they take in all 110 morphomes in the database, statistical analysis has been undertaken to spot correlations and dependencies between them which are subsequently discussed. Another major finding to emerge from this synchronic database concerns the cross-linguistic recurrence of various morphomic structures. Some extramorphologically unmotivated structures like SG+3PL, 1SG+3, PL+1SG etc. have been found to be present in several genetically and areally unrelated languages. This is something which had been previously excluded from the phenomenon on definitional grounds. The dissertation finishes by reiterating in Chapter 6 its findings and their implications for morphomic research, and for typology and morphology more generally.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Herce, Borja
Date : 28 February 2020
Funders : Basque Government, Techne
DOI : 10.15126/thesis.00853722
Contributors :
Depositing User : Borja Herce Calleja
Date Deposited : 06 Mar 2020 15:22
Last Modified : 06 Mar 2020 15:22

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