[Lingtyp] Analyzability and compositionality

William Croft wcroft at unm.edu
Tue Dec 31 12:10:50 EST 2019


Sorry, I meant “semantically analyzable”, the sense of analyzability that is probably most common in cognitive linguistics. Of course we can talk about analyzability (and degrees of analyzability, à la Bybee) in morphology and syntax.

Bill

On Dec 31, 2019, at 8:57 AM, Daniel Ross <djross3 at gmail.com<mailto:djross3 at gmail.com>> wrote:

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Dear Christian et al,

Why is "red herring" not in any way analyzable? As a native speaker, it feels like it has parts, although it is certainly not compositional. As speakers we know how to pluralize it, and for example in a language with noun-adjective agreement that would apply consistently, including when pluralized. It seems to me this would have the same status as idioms, which also have parts (e.g. "kick the bucket" has a past tense "kicked the bucket"). Of course my observation may just be that there is a very wide range of possible types of "analysis".

Daniel

On Tue, Dec 31, 2019 at 7:53 AM Christian Lehmann <christian.lehmann at uni-erfurt.de<mailto:christian.lehmann at uni-erfurt.de>> wrote:
As more examples of forms that are analyzable but not compositional, consider such series as conceive, perceive, receive, deceive and compare them with compel, repel and many more of this kind. It appears that morphological analysis has to reckon with forms that are analyzable by methodological principles (of distribution, analogy etc.) without any requirement of "recurrent form-meaning pairings".

Best,

Christian

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