Unification and separation in a functional theory of morphology

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This paper offers the initial design for a functional theory of morphology and addresses the question of how much unification or separation of domains and units is required in such a theory. Given that morphology is largely driven by principles that also rule syntax and semantics, the main thrust of this proposal is that the interaction between morphology and other areas of the theory can be adequately accounted for by the combination of three descriptive-explanatory resources: layered structures, templates and constructions. Other descriptiveexplanatory principles such as feature percolation and the characteristics of bases and adjuncts remain specifically morphological. Unification and separation in morphology must be carried out on functional grounds. Moreover, Old English evidence shows that no strict separation can be postulated, either between morphology and the rest of the theory or among the different morphological processes.


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