Research Repository

Lexical relatedness and the lexical entry - a formal unification

Spencer, Andrew (2010) 'Lexical relatedness and the lexical entry - a formal unification.' In: Müller, Stefan, (ed.) Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar. CSLI Publications, Stanford, CA, pp. 322-340.

spencer.pdf - Published Version

Download (288kB) | Preview


Based on the notion of a lexicon with default inheritance, I address the problem of how to provide a template for lexical representations that allows us to capture the relatedness between inflected word forms and canonically derived lexemes within a broadly realizational-inferential model of morphology. To achieve this we need to be able to represent a whole host of intermediate types of lexical relatedness that are much less frequently discussed in the literature. These include transpositions such as deverbal participles, in which a word's morphosyntactic class changes (e.g. verb ⇒ adjective) but no semantic predicate is added to the semantic representation and the derived word remains, in an important sense, a "form" of the base lexeme (e.g. the 'present participle form of the verb'). I propose a model in which morphological properties are inherited by default from syntactic properties and syntactic properties are inherited from semantic properties, such as ontological category (the Default Cascade). Relatedness is defined in terms of a Generalized Paradigm Function (perhaps in reality a relation), a generalization of the Paradigm Function of Paradigm Function Morphology (Stump 2001). The GPF has four components which deliver respectively specifications of a morphological form, syntactic properties, semantic representation and a lexemic index (LI) unique to each individuated lexeme in the lexicon. In principle, therefore, the same function delivers derived lexemes as inflected forms. In order to ensure that a newly derived lexeme of a distinct word class can be inflected I assume two additional principles. First, I assume an Inflectional Specifiability Principle, which states that the form component of the GPF (which defines inflected word forms of a lexeme) is dependent on the specification of the lexeme's morpholexical signature, a declaration of the properties that the lexeme is obliged to inflect for (defined by default on the basis of morpholexical class). I then propose a Category Erasure Principle, which states that 'lower' attributes are erased when the GPF introduces a non-trivial change to a 'higher' attribute (e.g. a change to the semantic representation entails erasure of syntactic and morphological information). The required information is then provided by the Default Cascade, unless overridden by specific declarations in the GPF. I show how this model can account for a variety of intermediate types of relatedness which cannot easily be treated as either inflection or derivation, and conclude with a detailed illustration of how the system applies to a particularly interesting type of transposition in the Samoyedic language Sel'kup, in which a noun is transposed to a similitudinal adjective whose form is in paradigmatic opposition to case-marked noun forms, and which is therefore a kind of inflection.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Admin
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2011 08:47
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2011 08:50

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item