Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © 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: 22 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter shows Eastern Canadian Arctic Inuktitut words are formed and used in the context of polysynthesis. It starts with a very basic classification of word-types along distributional lines: how various categories of morphemes combine or don’t combine with the same or other categories, in order to generate various types of words. On the basis of a number of examples, it will be shown that the lexicalization of morphemic groupings lies at the core of the Inuktitut lexicon. In contemporary language usage, this process of lexicalization may be either covert or overt. When covert, the combined meaning conveyed by the addition of each original morpheme in a word is mostly imperceptible to modern speakers, the only semantic function of the lexicalized word being to signify its new denotatum. When overt, however, it can serve as a powerful tool for creating new words apt at describing a world in constant change.

Keywords: polysynthesis, Inuktitut, covert lexicalization, overt lexicalization, constantly changing world

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.