The periphrastic prototype

John M. Anderson

in The Substance of Language Volume II

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199608324
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732041 | DOI:
The periphrastic prototype

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Grammatical periphrasis is distinguished from lexical periphrasis. A verbal periphrasis, the most commonly studied, contains an operative (functional) verb that fills a gap in a finite verb paradigm by requiring as a complement a non‐finite form that expresses the missing part of the paradigm. Paradigmatic properties of grammatical periphrases, such as suppletion, are illustrated from various languages. The Latin perfect passive is discussed as a prototype. Progressives, perfects, and passives in English differ from this prototype, but the difference is attributed to the impoverished finite morphology of English. In a coda it is suggested that features such as ‘progressive’ are cover symbols for configurations that are in accordance with the localist hypothesis discussed in Volume I of the trilogy.

Keywords: lexical periphrasis; verbal periphrasis; suppletion; Latin; progressives; perfects; passives; morphological poverty; localism

Chapter.  19419 words. 

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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