University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Prolegomena to a typology of periphrasis

Corbett, GG, Brown, DP and Chumakina, M (2008) Prolegomena to a typology of periphrasis In: 13th International Morphology Meeting, 2008-03-05 - ?, Vienna.

[img] Text (licence)
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (33kB)


Periphrasis straddles the boundary between syntax and morphology, and so creates analytical and theoretical problems. These concern the nature of the word, the interaction between syntax and morphology, and the possible sizes and shapes of inflectional paradigms. Progress has been hampered because the theoretical devices available have been inadequate and because the range of data considered has been narrow. We are therefore undertaking a typological survey, adopting a ‘canonical’ approach in which we specify the different dimensions along which concrete instances of periphrasis can be classified as more or less canonical. Periphrastic constructions are common, yet relatively little is known about their typological range. Following Haspelmath (2000), our canonical approach encompasses not just verbs but also comparable phenomena involving other parts of speech (‘analytic’ forms in some traditions). Thus we include less familiar examples, such as this one, showing periphrastic expression of number on nouns. We give just two of seven cases: Nenets ti ‘reindeer’ (Ackerman 2000:3) SINGULAR DUAL PLURAL NOMINATIVE ti tex°h tiq DATIVE ten°h tex°h nyah tex°q Number and case are expressed synthetically for most cells of the paradigm, except for certain cells in the dual (represented here by the dative). We plan a careful examination of four key languages, Archi, Bininj Gun-Wok, Nenets and Sanskrit, each of which has significant and different instances of periphrasis. Based on this survey, we will establish: • the set of criteria for periphrasis; this is to define the space across which to calibrate any attested periphrastic construction. We shall start from the definitions in Ackerman & Stump (2004: 125-147). • the typological range of periphrasis, taking into account both the constructions and how they interact with language-specific morphological and syntactic rules • the diachronic stages that the syntactic phrase goes through on its way to becoming part of the morphological paradigm, and the conditions that permit this. Periphrasis can be understood in terms of a configuration of properties of canonical inflectional morphology (e.g. obligatoriness) and canonical syntax (e.g. independence of expression), as in our Nenets example. The canonical approach with its inclusive orientation allows us to calibrate and clarify the differing intuitions of typologists, and place periphrasis within the larger space of morphology-syntax interaction. Ackerman, Farrell. 2000. Lexical constructions: Paradigms and periphrastic expressions. Paper read at the LFG Workshop on Morphosyntax, Berkeley. Ackerman, Farrell & Gregory Stump. 2004. Paradigms and periphrastic expression: A study in realization-based lexicalism. Projecting Morphology, ed. by Andrew Spencer & Louisa Sadler, 111-157. Stanford: CSLI. Haspelmath, Martin. 2000. Periphrasis. Morphology: An international handbook on inflection and word formation, ed. by G. Booij, C. Lehmann & J. Mugdan, 654-664. Berlin: de Gruyter.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
Corbett, GG
Brown, DP
Chumakina, M
Date : 2008
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 15:27
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 15:04

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800