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date: 26 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Derivational morphemes in the Eskimo-Aleut language family are a finite set of morphemes which allow for the expansion of the internal domain of the word in these languages. They form the basis for polysynthesis, whereby a word can convey information equivalent to an English sentence and can potentially contain up to eleven morphemes, including the root and inflection. This set of morphemes includes a wider range of meanings, for example aspect and adverbials, than found in the derivational morphology of other languages, but this paper follows a major linguistic tradition of this language family which considers the entire set to be derivational (Fortescue 1992). A picture emerges of what appears to be a very syntactic derivational morphology, or, viewed from another perspective, a very morphological syntax, where category change plays a larger role in sentence structure.

Keywords: Eskimo-Aleut, Inuktitut, polysynthesis, reduplication, phases, noun-incorporation, evaluative morphemes, adverbials

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