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: 18 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In terms of both form and meaning, inflectional morphology occupies an unusual position in language, as it teeters on the margins between lexicon and syntax in apparent defiance of definition. In most languages, inflectional morphology marks relations such as person, number, case, gender, possession, tense, aspect, and mood, serving as an essential grammatical glue holding the relationships in constructions together. Yet in some languages, inflectional morphology is minimal or may not exist at all. From the perspective of cognitive linguistics, inflectional morphology presents a rich array of opportunities to apply and test core concepts, particularly those involving category structure (radial categories, prototypicality, polysemy), the grounding and organization of categories (embodiment, basic-level concepts, “ception,” construal), and the means of extension and elaboration of categories (metaphor, metonymy). This article assumes that there are three kinds of morphemes: lexical, derivational, and inflectional. The behavior of these three types of morphemes can best be understood within the context of constructions. The article focuses on the highly inflected Slavic languages to illustrate the discussions.

Keywords: Slavic languages, inflectional morphology, morphemes, metaphor, metonymy, constructions, lexicon, syntax, cognitive linguistics, radial categories

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.