Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 27 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The identification of what words are is central to grammatical theorizing: without a theory of the word, it is impossible to establish what it is that syntax combines and what semantics composes the meanings of. But there is a substantial degree of theoretical debate about where the boundaries of words are and how the relationship between syntax and morphology should be understood. This chapter addresses that literature by exploring a case of inflection in English (the passive participle) and two ‘boundary’ topics: cliticization and Noun Incorporation. It is argued that the Strong Lexicalist Hypothesis—the claim that neither inflectional and derivational morphology is syntactic—is adequate in these cases. The chapter concludes that the Word is a theoretical construct, and that we should not expect naive definitions to deliver useful analytic results. It is further argued that discourse reference and other semantic phenomena are not relevant to establishing wordhood.

Keywords: lexicalism, inflection, derivation, clitics, Noun Incorporation, discourse reference, affixes

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.