Morphology and its demarcations

Morphology and its demarcations. Ed. by Wolfgang U. Dressler, Dieter Kastovsky, Oskar Pfeiffer, and Franz Rainer. (Current issues in linguistic theory 264.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2005. Pp. xiv, 317. ISBN 9781588116383. $188 (Hb).

Reviewed by Ana R. Luís, University of Coimbra

This volume contains papers originally presented at the eleventh Morphology Meeting, held at the University of Vienna. All eighteen contributions deal with the main topic of the meeting—namely, the external and internal demarcations of morphology. Although this volume has not been explicitly divided into thematic sections, the articles clearly fall into three well-defined groups: (i) data that challenges the morphology-syntax distinction, (ii) the contrast between compounding and derivation, and (iii) the differences and similarities between inflection and derivation. Empirically, the data examined in this volume comes from a wide range of languages, including non-European languages like Wichita (North America), !Xun (Khoisan, Africa), Wellega Oromo (Cushitic), and Sanskrit as well as European languages such as English, Serbian, Bulgarian, Russian, Slovenian, Old Spanish, French, Dutch, Sanskrit, and Danish.

In the first group of papers, David S. Rood (‘Wichita word formation: Syntactic morphology’) discusses lexical integrity by examining verbal affixes that seem to express properties that relate to a phrasal constituent rather than to the verb they attach to. ‘Morphology in the wrong place’, by Michael Cysouw, offers a typological survey of ditropic clitics—that is, enclitics that attach to the word that immediately precedes their attractor. In ‘Clitics or affixes? On the morphological status of the future-tense markers in Serbian’, Jasmina Milićević examines whether Serbian has a synthetic future. Corrien Blom (‘The demarcation of morphology and syntax: A diachronic perspective on particle verbs’) discusses the grammatical status of particle verbs in Dutch and provides arguments that show that they constitute partly lexicalized phrases. The article ‘When clitics become affixes, where do they come to rest? A case from Spanish’, by Andrés Enrique-Arias, examines the placement of pronominal affixes in Modern Spanish in light of diachronic evidence from Old Spanish. Bernd Heine and Christa König (‘Grammatical hybrids: Between serialization, compounding and derivation in !Xun’) explain why certain hybrid units in !Xun, a North Khoisan language, seriously challenge the distinction between serialization, compounding, and derivation.

In the second group of papers, Sergio Scalise, Antonietta Bisetto, and Emiliano Guevara (‘Selection in compounding and derivation’) argue in favour of the demarcation between compounding and derivation on the basis of the criterion of head selection. Similarly, Bernard Fradin (‘On a semantically grounded difference between derivation and compounding’) examines French derived agent nouns in –eur and verb-noun compounds. This demarcation is also supported in ‘The borderline between derivation and compounding’, by Laurie Bauer, who shows that some morphologically complex words are neither prototypical derivatives nor prototypical compounds and by Dany Amiot (‘Between compounding and derivation: Elements of word-formation corresponding to prepositions’) who examines prepositions in French complex words. A different view of the derivation versus compounding debate is formulated by Geert Booij (‘Compounding and derivation: Evidence from construction morphology’), who explores the commonalities between compounding and affixal derivation within construction morphology and by Pavol Štekauer (‘Compounding and affixation: Any difference?’), who argues that, within a cognitive-onomasiological model, there are no principled differences between compounding and affixation.

The third group of papers deals with the boundary between inflection and derivation. Davide Ricca casts doubts on this distinction by providing examples of ‘Cumulative exponence involving derivation: Some patterns for an uncommon phenomenon’. By contrast, Maria-Rosa Lloret offers phonological motivation from Cushitic and Romance for splitting morphology within optimality theory (‘Revising the phonological motivation for splitting morphology’). The remaining articles are more concerned with the discussion of phenomena on the borderline between inflection and derivation: Stela Manova (‘Derivation versus inflection in three inflecting languages’) examines nonprototypical instances of derivation and inflection in Slavic, which, according to her, show that derivation and inflection form a continuum. Sergey Say claims that ‘Antipassive sja-verbs in Russian’ exhibit partly derivational/partly inflectional properties. Rok Žaucer, ‘Slavic prefixes as state morphemes: From state to change-of-state morphology’, claims that Slavic prefixes constitute derivational morphemes, even though they are often linked to perfectivity. Finally, Gregory T.Stump examines the status of Sanskrit –aya stems and clarifies the criteria for ‘Delineating the boundary between inflection-class marking and derivational marking’. This last paper is followed by a language and a subject index.