Derivational morphology
Martha Mcginnis, Jim Wood
September 2020

In this paper, we outline some of the main ways that phenomena traditionally referred to as “derivation” have been treated in Distributed Morphology (DM), focusing on the general issue of how the characteristics of derivation emerge from the grammar. We begin in the first half of the paper by discussing the status of derivation, focusing on criteria that classically distinguish between derivation and inflection, on the one hand, and derivation and compounding, on the other. We also discuss the relevance of the distinction between “words” and “phrases” to widespread notions of what counts as derivational morphology. The thrust of this section is to explain why “derivation” is not a primitive notion in DM, and to give a first sense of how DM handles phenomena traditionally treated as derivational. In the second half of the paper, we turn to a structural distinction that does fall out from the architecture of grammar adopted in most work within DM—specifically, the distinction between inner and outer affixation. We focus primarily on category-changing morphology and different proposals for what, structurally, counts as “inner” vs. “outer”, and what empirical effects this distinction corresponds to. We also discuss some ways in which “category change” is not necessarily a structurally unified notion. Finally, we turn to various (mostly prepositional) prefixing phenomena and discuss how these may reflect the inner/outer distinction as well.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005429
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: submitted to the Handbook of Distributed Morphology, CUP
keywords: derivation, inflection, compounding, distributed morphology, nominalization, adjectivization, morphology, syntax
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