Book

The Grammar of Words

Geert Booij

Second edition

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780199226245
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780191710360 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226245.001.0001

Series: Oxford Textbooks in Linguistics

The Grammar of Words

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This book introduces the reader to the basic methods for the study of the internal structure of words, and to the theoretical issues raised by analyses of word structure concerning the organization of the grammars of natural languages. Data from more than sixty languages are used to illustrate these descriptive and theoretical issues. The book is structured into three main parts. In the first part the basic notions of morphology and morphological analysis are introduced, and attention is given to word formation (derivation and compounding), the basics of inflection, and inflectional systems. The second part, reflecting an important characteristic of this book, is the discussion of the interface between morphology and other modules of the grammar such as phonology, syntax, and semantics. It is shown that the formal structure of complex words is not necessarily isomorphic to their phonological or semantic structure. This book is comprehensive since it also deals, in its third part, with the relation between morphology and mind. Facts concerning the processing of complex words are used as a window on the human mind. Language change in the domain of word structure is also approached from that perspective. In a final summarizing chapter, it is shown how the book has taught a theoretically sophisticated notion ‘word’ and that there are different notions ‘word’ that should be recognized in a proper linguistic analysis. An index and glossary of terms, exercises (with answers), a language index, and advice for further reading are also provided.

Keywords: morphology; word formation; derivation; compounding; inflection; interface; morphology-syntax relations; semantics; language processing; language change

Book.  360 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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Table of Contents

Derivation in The Grammar of Words

Chapter

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Compounding in The Grammar of Words

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Inflection in The Grammar of Words

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