Craff 2019 - Connecting roots and affixes

13 May - 14 May 2019

Arne Nováka 1, Room D?

This workshop addresses the issue of how to combine the right base with the right affix. In the current literature, the issue goes under various names, such as ‘selection,’ ‘allomorphy,’ ‘suppletion’ and others. The standard approach to this problem is to rely on creating arbitrary classes of roots (‘irregular plurals,’ ‘strong verbs,’ ‘class I/II/III,’ etc.), and making the rules of exponence sensitive these classes, so that -en ultimately attaches only to ‘Class II irregular plurals’ (or whatever the label). However, the need to postulate such arbitrary and meaningless classes defeats its own purpose, since the process of assembling the words (that we had broken apart) can only proceed correctly if we somehow provide brute-force lists of what combines with what. The very format of contextual rules is also suspicious: they basically just restate the facts. Can we find an alternative?

See the dedicated website for this workshop.