Paradigmatic realignment and morphological change

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A natural way of formally modeling language change is to adopt a procedural, dynamic approach that gets at the notion of emergence and decay. We argue that in the realm of morphological change, and notably the reorganization of a lexeme’s paradigm, a model that at a given synchronic stage holds together both the actual facts about the paradigm as well as the range of potential or virtual facts that are licensed by the morphological machinery more elegantly captures the nature of the changing paradigm. We consider the special case of morphological mismatch where syntactic function is misaligned with morphological expression, Latin deponent verbs representing the classical example. Change in this area is essentially realignment of morphology with syntax. Our analysis of the history of deponent verbs as paradigmatic realignment assumes a separation between syntactic function and its morphological realization and is couched within the computable declarative framework of Network Morphology.


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