Morphological taxonomy in the present-day generative framework: A case study of English and Czech nominalization

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Abstract

This paper addresses the classification of morphemes in a generative framework. Referring to existing theoretical models of generative morphosyntax (e.g. Distributed Morphology), it demonstrates that a traditional long-standing taxonomic distinction reflects formal, i.e. structural (and derivational) distinctions. Using the well-known examples of the English multi-functional nominalizer -ing and some parallel data in Czech, the study reinterprets morphological taxonomy in terms of three levels, namely the (i) lexical, (ii) syntactic and (iii) post-syntactic insertion of grammatical formatives. It shows that the level of insertion in a syntactic derivation results in predictable (and attested) diagnostics for the multi-morpheme exponents.

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