<i>Sepp</i> vs Paradigms

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We present data from a Middle Bavarian language in order to ar&#173;gue against the notions lexeme and paradigm. We argue that there is no level of abstraction at which lexemes have coherent properties, unless that level is the one of morphemes, i.e., of roots and affixes. Our argument is based on an examination of the &#8220;paradigm&#8221; of clitic de&#173;terminers: /s/, /d/, /n/ and /da/. We show that each of them has its own phonological, morpho-syntactic and semantic properties. While such data are well compatible with a morpheme-based theory (the finer properties are captured in terms of the properties of individual lexical items, the general properties in terms of natural classes), they illus&#173;trate the arbitrariness and incoherence of the notions paradigm and lexeme.


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