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date: 16 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

We compare periphrastic (analytic, multiword) constructions with the synthetic (morphological) inflection of verbs, nouns, and adjectives. We summarize recent characterizations starting with the canonical type, in which a syntactic construction realizes cells in an inflectional paradigm which is otherwise defined by morphological features (‘feature intersection’), as in the Latin passive perfect periphrasis, and sketch various types of non-canonicity, including ‘anti-periphrasis’, in which only a small minority of lexemes have non-periphrastic realization of a given set of inflectional properties. We discuss criteria for distinguishing periphrasis from ordinary function word syntax, and especially the problems posed by clitics for the concept ‘multiword’ (the Serbian-Croatian future tense, the Hausa ‘genitive linker’, and verbal clitics in Bulgarian/Macedonian). We conclude with brief typological remarks.

Keywords: periphrasis, analytic construction, anti-periphrasis, auxiliary verb, clitic, feature intersection, multiword construction, possessive construction

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