Historical Morphology

Instructor(s): Alice C. Harris

The course introduces both traditional and current topics in historical morphology and highlights recent approaches to these problems. Paradigm leveling and analogy are two types of morphological change traditionally recognized; some recent accounts look at these issues as uniformity and take other innovative approaches. While traditional accounts consider morphological change primarily a reactive response to phonological change, a number of contemporary linguists see morphology as autonomous and view morphological change as distinct from phonological change. Grammaticalization is an essential part of accounting for the development of complex morphology, but other approaches - such as "lost wax" and "hermit crabs" - also play a role. Historical linguistics can provide an explanation for the occurrence of some synchronic phenomena and for the existence of rare linguistic phenomena. Reconstruction is an essential part of historical linguistics, and new perspectives are discussed here.

Some experience in analyzing linguistic structures is essential. A course on historical linguistics or on morphology would be helpful, but neither is required.

Course ID:

Tue & Fri 1:30-3:15

Classroom: STAD 112

Areas of Linguistics:
Areal and Historical Linguistics
Syntax and Morphology