Abstract and Keywords
The purpose of modelling inflectional structure computationally is addressed. It is a good way of checking analyses, and it provides external evidence for their validity. The development of a computational analysis can lead to the discovery of new generalizations about a language’s morphology. Finite state morphology and default inheritance methods are discussed. One question is whether morphological entities such as inflectional classes should be treated in terms of morphological features or whether they should be seen as emerging from the structure of the hierarchy or network. Both inflectional classes and stem classes can be treated as inheritance hierarchies. The issue of the different types of feature involved is raised again when deponency and syncretism are considered. Because it raises these issues, computational modelling allows for subtle distinctions in the treatment of a particular typological phenomenon, as well as providing a better understanding of the basic connections between related phenomena.
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