Beyond roots and affixes
Äiwoo deverbal nominals and the typology of bound lexical morphemes
This paper discusses the analysis of a particular class of morphemes in the Oceanic language Äiwoo, and argues that the difficulties in accounting for them in traditional terms such as nominalisation, compounding, relative clauses, or classifiers is due to their status as bound lexical morphemes, also known as bound roots, an under-discussed category in linguistic literature. It proposes some parameters of variation within bound lexical morphemes as a class and shows that the Äiwoo facts can be best accounted for by reference to these parameters, both in terms of language-internal description and crosslinguistic comparability. It argues that understanding crosslinguistic morphological structure in terms of a dichotomy between “roots” and “affixes” underplays the existing variation in linguistic structure, and that a more detailed examination is necessary of forms which do not fit clearly into this dichotomy; the discussion of the Äiwoo data aims to provide a starting-point for such an examination.
Keywords: morphology, bound roots, nominalisation, Oceanic
Published online: 30 March 2018
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