Linguistic extravagance in compounds and idioms – an analysis of morphological marking
This paper investigates the role of morphological marking as the driving factor for linguistic extravagance in idioms and compounds in German and English. It argues that formal structural properties of morphological marking alone can account for compounds that are regular, i.e., compositional, productive and recursive, as well as for those that are non-compositional, non-productive and non-recursive and in that sense irregular or extravagant. Furthermore, the paper shows how the formal analysis for compounds can be extended to idioms in German and English, which are similar to compounds in the sense that they display categorial unfaithfulness and non-compositional form-meaning correspondence and yet are different from compounds in that they contain additional functional structure to the structure that can be identified in compounds. The paper draws on the exoskeletal model of Borer (2005a, b, 2013) for the analysis of compounds and idioms, which – unlike other approaches to morphological marking – can account for extravagant as well as expected aspects of these forms strictly in terms of the formal grammatical properties.
- 2.Two types of (nominal root) compounds in German and English
- 3.An exoskeletal approach to syntax
- 4.Back to compounds
- 5.Next up: Idioms
- 5.1A first approximation
- 5.2Tentative extensions