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date: 25 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter concerns factors influencing the order in which derivational affixes may attach to a word and reviews proposals that have been made to account for affix ordering in the world’s languages. There are a variety of factors which appear to influence affix-ordering each of which can be observed across multiple languages. However, as argued by Manova and Aronoff (2010), while there are observable cross-linguistic tendencies, there is certainly no existing recipe of factors that can be shown to dictate all languages’ affix-ordering behaviurs. The object of study is inherently different across different languages due to the frequency and productivity distributions of the affixes, the semantic notions expressed by them, the factors that lend themselves to parsing affixes in speech perception, the statistical (ir)regularities, and the degree of semantic and phonological transparency. Different languages their own solutions to the problem of balancing these tensions and establishing an “optimal” affix order.

Keywords: affix ordering, inflection, derivation, co-occurrence restrictions, strata, acyclicity, complexity based ordering, recursion

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