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Current perspectives on word-formation

Class at Faculty of Arts |


1. Morphology, word-formation & morphemes

2. Morpheme-based theories of word-formation

3. Problems with the morpheme

4. Word-based theories of word-formation

5. Word-formation in Cognitive Grammar

6. Word-formation in Construction Grammar

7. Relational Morphology

8. Word-formation in language acquisition

9. Word-formation in psycholinguistics

10. Word-formation in aphasia and dementia

11. Word-formation in dyslexia

12. Word-formation and slips of the tongue & spelling errors

13. Word-formation and Naive Discriminative Learning


The course will introduce the traditional view of derivational morphology, on which word-formation is conceived of as concatenation of morphemes. Using various examples, the course will discuss a variety of problems with such an approach, and then focus on frameworks that have provided alternative views of word-formation (and language in general).

Attention will be paid especially to approaches to word-formation couched within Cognitive Linguistics, including the theories of Construction Morphology and of Relational Morphology. In the latter half of the semester, the course will focus on what is known from various subdisciplines of linguistics and cognitive science about derivational morphology, and it will be shown how these findings can be argued to support the theories of morphology subscribing to the Cognitive Commitment.

The course will primarily work with data from Czech and from various Germanic and Romance languages; no knowledge of Czech (or any other language except for English, for that matter) is required, however. Similarly, no particular background in morphology is required, and students studying any language-centered program are welcome.