Morphological Typology

Dunstan Brown

in The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Typology

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199281251
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 Morphological Typology

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Linguistics
  • Linguistic Typology
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology


Show Summary Details


The term ‘morphological typology’ has been traditionally associated with the division of languages into basic ‘holistic’ types that could be used to characterize a complete language. Characterization of the morphological complexity of words is the sense in which morphological typology has traditionally been understood. Morphology's role is to interface between phonology and syntax. The variety of means by which morphology can perform the role of realizing morphosyntactic features is discussed. The weakness of traditional morphological typology was its overly ‘holistic’ approach. Theoretical morphology has come a long way since that time, but the ramifications of theoretical distinctions are still explored, such as that between realizational theories and lexical theories. Pure morphology, inflectional classes, and the different mechanisms associated with phenomena such as syncretism suggest a variety of dimensions along which the world's languages can be typologized.

Keywords: morphological typology; languages; holistic approach; morphological complexity; realizational theories; lexical theories

Article.  6057 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Linguistic Typology ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.