On the representation of roots, stems and finals in Blackfoot

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This chapter proposes an analysis of Blackfoot ‘finals’ in the theoretical framework of Functional Discourse Grammar. It is shown that the two classes of finals have different functions which can be accounted for by locating them in different parts of the FDG grammar component. The analysis crucially relies on the distinction between lexeme formation and word formation.Abstract finals create new words in the grammar, by allowing a selected lexeme to fit its semantic environment. This is handled by treating them as placeholder morphemes, introduced at the Morphosyntactic Level, which copy relevant values from the Representational and Interpersonal Levels.Concrete (secondary) finals create new lexemes, thus extending the language’s lexical inventory. This is handled by treating them as a special type of lexeme, namely one that is expressed as a derivational affix and is located in the lexeme derivation component of the lexicon.


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