[Lingtyp] Analyzability and compositionality

Daniel Ross djross3 at gmail.com
Tue Dec 31 15:57:32 UTC 2019

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".


On Tue, Dec 31, 2019 at 7:53 AM Christian Lehmann <
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
> --
> Prof. em. Dr. Christian Lehmann
> Rudolfstr. 4
> D - 99092 Erfurt
> Tel.:   +49/361/2113417
> Fax:    +49/361/2113418
> E-Post: christianw_lehmann at arcor.dehttps://www.christianlehmann.eu
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