There’s been a fair amount of generative linguistics work over the past 15 years or so that identifies itself as “morphosemantics.” There are several reasons why I don’t think morphosemantics is a coherent notion. In this post, I’d like to detail some of these reasons. You’ve probably heard ~1.5 of them before, though, so if that’s the case feel free to skip ahead as needed. […]
A while ago, I posted the following on facebook:
"the morning star" is to "the evening star" as "my analysis resorts to expletive pro" is to "my analysis is wrong"
To illustrate [...]
Here is a paper by Canaan Breiss and Bruce Hayes (I will refer to the paper as B&H). To offer a brief summary of B&H’s main empirical point, it shows that the choice of syntactic ‘structure’ (i.e., both the choice of terminals and their arrangement) is probabilistically biased towards avoiding phonotactically problematic sequences (e.g. a sequence of two consecutive sibilants), even when the sequence in question arises across a word boundary. It does so by focusing on a series of well-established phonological constraints (from work on word‑level phonology), and showing that word‑bigrams whose juncture violates these constraints are underattested. This is shown to be the case in a variety of corpora, both written and spoken. Let’s refer to this as Evidence for Phonologically-Influenced Choice of Syntactic Structure, or EPICSS for short. […]
This is another post, much like this one (and very much inspired by it), that is more about professional development / career issues, and less about linguistics. So if this kind of thing interests you less, maybe skip this one. […]
I am delighted to announce that I will once again be a member of the faculty at the NY ‑ St. Petersburg Institute of Linguistics, Cognition, and Culture (NYI), in July-August 2019 in St. Petersburg (Russia). […]