Ling E: Introduction to Morphology
This course explores patterns of word formation that we find across the world's languages, and introduces the linguistic tools we need to understand and account for those patterns. How do we tell an internally-complex word from a simplex one? What types of mismatches do we find between meaning and form in morphological systems, and how can we account for those mismatches? How are words built, and do all languages build them in the same ways? What is the relationship between morphology and other components of grammar, especially phonology and syntax? We frame these questions in the context of current debates in the morphological literature, e.g., about the generative engine that builds words (is it just syntax?), and about the nature of morphological representations (is word-formation piece-based, or process-based?). And, like most courses in morphology, we will raise but fail to definitively answer the question of what exactly a "word" is to begin with.