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On templates

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Abstract

Severe limitations apply to the sound shape of roots and stems, yielding ‘templates’ (in one sense of the term). Templaticity is a property of human language. Two kinds, default and nondefault, ought to be distinguished, however. Default templaticity amounts to keeping the bulk and phonetic complexity of roots and stems within narrow limits. Nondefault templaticity is more specific (cf. Semitic roots) and often considered to partake of the grammatical kit that builds up the elements of the language. The present paper challenges this view. Adopting a Word and Paradigm perspective, it argues that nondefault templates do not belong to the grammars children acquire, but they are abstracted from the paradigms they assimilate in order to master the word-forms realizing the lexemes of their language.

References

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