Introduction: Defectiveness: Typology and Diachrony

Matthew Baerman and Greville G. Corbett

in Defective Paradigms

Published by British Academy

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780197264607
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734366 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Introduction: Defectiveness: Typology and Diachrony

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology


Show Summary Details


A defective word is defined by paradigm as incomplete compared with the major class it belongs to. Defectiveness signifies the unwanted intrusion of morphological idiosyncrasy into syntax. Although this phenomenon has been a constant subject of studies, it has been ill incorporated into the theories of language. This present volume brings together scholars from various theoretical schools for an overdue typological view of defectiveness. It concentrates on some samples of idiosyncratic gaps which are assumed as indicative of the phenomenon of defectiveness. Before delving into the specified topics of each chapter, this introductory chapter presents a typology of defective paradigms. It discusses terms used to describe defectiveness in synchronotic terms, and the possible diachrony of defective paradigms.

Keywords: defective words; paradigm; defectiveness; syntax; theories of language; idiosyncracies; phenomenon of defectiveness; typology; defective paradigms; diachrony

Chapter.  6250 words. 

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at British Academy »

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