Word and Paradigm Morphology: Data and Analysis

Instructor(s): James P. Blevins and Farrell Ackerman

This course provides an introduction to the word and paradigm (WP) models that have recently come to reoccupy a central position in the field of morphology. The examination of traditional models clarifies their place in the family of contemporary 'examplar-based' approaches that includes 'construction-based' and 'usage-based' accounts. Contrasting traditional WP models with morpheme-based alternatives highlights the profound influence that the Post-Bloomfieldian tradition on the way that the study of morphology has been understood in the modern period. Comparisons within the class of WP approaches further distinguishes substantive claims from auxiliary assumptions or execution choices adopted in particular models. The course demonstrates how insights into morphological systems can be derived by utilizing formal tools from information theory and evolutionary simulations in conjunction with word-based assumptions. There will be as strong emphasis on detailed language data, especially from the Uralic and Kordfonian languages.

Students would profit most from this course if they have had some prior course in morphology, language description, or field methods.