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Deponency and Morphological Mismatches - British Academy Scholarship Online
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Deponency and Morphological Mismatches

Matthew Baerman, Greville G. Corbett, Dunstan Brown, and Andrew Hippisley


Deponency is a mismatch between form and function in language that was first described for Latin, where there is a group of verbs (the deponents) that are morphologically passive but syntactically active. This is evidence of a larger problem involving the interface between syntax and morphology: inflectional morphology is supposed to specify syntactic function, but sometimes it sends out the wrong signal. Although the problem is as old as the Western linguistic tradition, no generally accepted account of it has yet been given, and it is safe to say that all current theories of language have be ... More

Keywords: deponency, syntax, morphology, morphological mismatches, typology, Western linguistics

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780197264102
Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012 DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264102.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Matthew Baerman, editor
Research Fellow, Surrey Morphology Group, University of Surrey

Greville G. Corbett, editor
Distinguished Professor of Linguistics and Russian Language, University of Surrey; Fellow of the British Academy

Dunstan Brown, editor
Senior Lecturer in Linguistics, University of Surrey