The Grammar of Words: An Introduction to Linguistic Morphology

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OUP Oxford, Sep 13, 2012 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 353 pages
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This book introduces the reader to the basic methods for the study of the internal structure of words, and to the theoretical issues raised by analyses of word structure concerning the organization of the grammars of natural languages. Data from more than sixty languages are used to illustrate these descriptive and theoretical issues. The book is structured into three main parts. In the first part the basic notions of morphology and morphological analysis are introduced, and attention is given to word formation (derivation and compounding), the basics of inflection, and inflectional systems. The second part, reflecting an important characteristic of this book, is the discussion of the interface between morphology and other modules of the grammar such as phonology, syntax, and semantics. It is shown that the formal structure of complex words is not necessarily isomorphic to their phonological or semantic structure. This book is comprehensive since it also deals, in its third part, with the relation between morphology and mind. Facts concerning the processing of complex words are used as a window on the human mind. Language change in the domain of word structure is also approached from that perspective. In a final summarizing chapter, it is shown how the book has taught a theoretically sophisticated notion ‘word’ and that there are different notions ‘word’ that should be recognized in a proper linguistic analysis. An index and glossary of terms, exercises (with answers), a language index, and advice for further reading are also provided.

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Morphology and Mind
Answers to questions
Glossary of terms
Language index
Subject index

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About the author (2012)

Geert Booij is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Leiden, the author of The Morphology of Dutch (2002) and Construction Morphology (2010), both published at Oxford University Press, and founder and editor of the journal Morphology.

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