New paradigms : a rule-and-feature based, morpholexical analysis of the Spanish verbal system
Burdette, Karen Williams
MetadataShow full item record
This analysis of the Spanish verbal system is based in form on Stephen Anderson’s Extended-Word-and-Paradigm model of morphology, but is theoretically based on Joan Bybee’s analogical model of morphology. The purpose of the proposed model is to generalize, condense, and describe as elegantly as possible the patterns of Spanish inflectional verbal morphology, so as to produce all attested forms without producing any unattested forms, and without any unnecessary redundancy or superfluous rules. The model is based on linking the two parts of the Saussurean linguistic sign, that is, the signifié, represented by feature sets, and the signifiant, represented by rules that transform the base lexeme into the fully inflected word. The rules in the model are seen as patterns of organization in the mental lexicon and are not regarded as generative in themselves. Rules and representations are viewed as opposite ends of the same continuum rather than as separate entities in the mental grammar. Fully inflected words are generated by analogical connections among forms in the lexicon, rather than by rules that are independent of the lexical representations. The phonological strings in the signifiants in the model are not true morphemes in the traditional sense, but rather, consistent with Anderson’s ‘a-morphous’ morphology, represent a process whereby a base lexeme becomes a fully inflected word. The model is morpholexical, since these word formations occur in the lexicon, and the segments traditionally viewed as grammatical morphemes are not considered significantly different from the segments representing the ‘content’ part of the word. The model is analogical in nature, since the form-meaning connection can only be made through consistent, sufficient exposure to the phonological forms (or their analogical counterparts) within the context specified by the given feature set, so that the listener/speaker makes connections to forms with similar features, similar physical representations, and similar collocations. In addition to providing insight into the mental organization and processing of language in general and of Spanish verbs in particular, this model has strong implications for the importance of comprehensible input in second language acquisition.