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Defective ParadigmsMissing Forms and What They Tell Us$
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Matthew Baerman, Greville G. Corbett, and Dunstan Brown

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264607

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264607.001.0001

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Interactions between Defectiveness and Syncretism

Interactions between Defectiveness and Syncretism

(p.181) 10 Interactions between Defectiveness and Syncretism
Defective Paradigms

Gregory Stump

British Academy

This chapter examines some defective patterns that interact with the language's patterns of syncretism. It examines the early Indic declensional morphology to determine some varied interactions between defectiveness and syncretism. In the Indic morphology, three canonical kinds of interaction were defined: defectiveness may override syncretism, syncretism may determine the domain of defectiveness, and syncretism may override defectiveness. Theoretical explanation of these interactions suggests that the language's morphology makes reference to two distinct paradigms. These paradigms are: 1) content paradigms which express the range of syntactic uses to which the lexemes may be put; and 2) form paradigms which express the range of inflectional realization to which the root may arise. Syncretism is a property of form paradigms while defectiveness is a property of both form and content paradigms. Whilst various assumptions are presented herein on the possible interactions between defectiveness and syncretism, the chapter suggests that a wide-ranging and careful examination of such interactions in a variety of languages is needed.

Keywords:   defective patterns, syncretism, Indic declensional morphology, defectiveness, morphology, content paradigms, form paradigms, inflectional realization

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