On the Relation Between Morphology And Syntax

Marit Julien

in The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Interfaces

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780199247455
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

On the Relation Between Morphology And Syntax


This article presents a view of the syntax–morphology interface, arguing that the notion of word is an epiphenomenon. It shows show that the distributional properties are compatible with a number of syntactic configurations. The article also covers the agreement markers, and the apparent counterexample to the idea that morpheme order is always determined by the syntax, namely, the Scandinavian -s(t) suffix which is used to form passives, among other things. It demonstrates that given the right syntactic analysis, -s(t) is not necessarily a counter-example after all. The fact that the verbal morphology of the languages under consideration can get a syntactic explanation is no proof that syntax is the basis of all word formation. There seems to be no doubt that words do somehow exist. The psychological reality of words is probably a consequence of their distributional properties.

Keywords: syntax; morphology; word; syntactic configurations; agreement markers; counterexample; Scandinavian suffix; languages

Article.  11036 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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