formally-determined morpheme order

Frederick J Newmeyer fjn at
Thu Feb 27 20:22:07 UTC 2014

Dear Funknetters,

I'm looking for an example where a language has three or more bound morphemes in a fixed order, but where the order among them cannot be characterized in semantic/pragmatic terms without loss of generalization. (I am including scope and notions such as 'relevance to the root' as part of 'semantic/pragmatic'.) Here is a hypothetical example of what I am looking for:

Some words in Language L consist of a root followed by three suffixes. The first suffix has to be bisyllabic, the second is pronounced [ka] and can be associated with a number of different meanings, and the third suffix has to be monosyllabic.

There is no language precisely like that, of course. But I am wondering if there are languages of roughly that sort, i.e., where the generalizations about morpheme position can be stated only in non-semantic, non-pragmatic, and non-discourse-related terms.



Frederick J. Newmeyer
Professor Emeritus, University of Washington
Adjunct Professor, U of British Columbia and Simon Fraser U
[for my postal address, please contact me by e-mail]

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