Contrasting contrastive approaches
  • ISSN 1387-6759
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9897
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The aim of this paper is to discuss topics in contrastive morphology, combining the perspectives of morphological theory and contrastive linguistics. After an overview of the recent literature on contrastive morphology and the relevant ‘tertia comparationis’ in Section 2, Section 3 focuses on the main differences between compounding in Modern Greek and Italian (e.g. the position of the morphological head, the pattern stem+stem in Modern Greek vs. the pattern word+word in Italian). The diachronic dimension, the inflectional system and the role of syntax are put forward as explanatory factors for the differences between the two languages. Two recent types of compounds, [V+V] V in Modern Greek and [V+N] N in Italian, are therefore examined contrastively. The contrastive analysis of compounding is based on three types of equivalence: ‘system equivalence’, ‘rule equivalence’, and ‘morphological age equivalence’. The main conclusion is that a contrastive approach to morphology enables us to deepen our understanding of both the fundamental distinction and the fundamental interconnection between morphology and syntax.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): compounding; equivalence; Modern Greek/Italian; morphology
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