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date: 02 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Morphology is usually understood as the branch of linguistics that investigates word structure, a topic of central relevance to the systematic study of language and language processing. The Western grammatical tradition begins with the identification of words as the smallest meaningful elements of speech, a conception that survives largely intact in contemporary word-based models of morphology and grammar. Synchronic, historical, and behavioral evidence also suggests that words are not only organized into syntagmatic units but also into paradigmatic collections. On the syntagmatic dimension, words are composed of morphs and themselves form parts of larger syntactic constructions. Orthogonal to these structures, inflected and derivational forms exhibit an organization into inflectional paradigms and larger morphological families. This chapter outlines some of the linguistic issues that arise in describing words and their structure.

Keywords: morphology, morphological theory

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