[Lingtyp] Dissecting morphological theory 2: Diminutivization in root-, stem- and word-based morphology
stela.manova at univie.ac.at
Thu Jun 24 19:18:58 UTC 2021
*Dissecting morphological theory 2: Diminutivization in root-, stem- and
word-based morphology *
Workshop to be held in conjunction with the 46th Austrian Linguistics
Conference / 46. Österreichische Linguistiktagung (ÖLT) in Vienna on
11-12 December 2021
Call for papers
This workshop scrutinizes and compares theoretical assumptions in
morphology. Diminutivization serves as a testing ground. The goal is to
bring together scholars working within different theoretical frameworks
as well as computational and experimental morphologists.
Diminutive morphology presents a number of theoretical challenges. Just
a few issues illustrated primarily with organizers’ research:
Diminutive affixes if attached to nouns denoting persons do not
derive diminutives (proper), e.g. Russian mamočka ‘mother-DIM,
mommy’ does not mean ‘small mother’; thus, some diminutive forms
appear closely related to hypocoristics (Dressler & Merlini
Barbaresi 1994; Korecky-Kröll & Dressler 2007; Simonović &
Arsenijević 2015; Manova et al. 2017).
Diminutive affixes can change fundamental properties of nouns such
as gender and countability (Manova & Winternitz 2011;Arsenijević
2016); in the verbal domain, diminutive affixes can change the
conjugation class and/or valency of the base (Oltra-Massuet &
Unlike diminutive nouns, not all diminutive verbs are derived from
verbs (Grestenberger & Kallulli 2019); and “small is many in the
event domain” (Tovena 2011).
Diminutive affixes can be repeated; all diminutivizers express the
same semantics but they do not combine with each other freely
(Manova & Winternitz 2011; Merlini Barbaresi 2012).
To make theoretical assumptions comparable, we differentiate between
composition and decomposition and recognize three types
ofcompositionexemplified with the organizations of three theories of
morphology: Distributed Morphology (DM), Paradigm Function Morphology
(PFM) and Natural Morphology (NM) :
Root-based:composition in DM (Halle & Marantz 1998, Bobaljik 2017)
is of this type, i.e. in a syntax-oriented model such as DM, a
derivation takes place step-by-step starting from the root, e.g.
from √read. In DM, roots have a special status and are categoriless;
the affix attached to the root provides the syntactic category, i.e.
affixes are heads. However, recent DM studies (De Belder 2011;
Lowenstamm 2015; Creemers et al. 2018) have claimed that some
affixes are roots, i.e. categoriless too (on the categorization of
diminutive suffixes, Grestenberger & Kallulli 2019).
Stem-based: PFM (Stump 2001) links words in slots of inflectional
paradigms but derives those words stem-based. Stump (2016) speaks of
content paradigm, form paradigm and realized paradigm; the
composition of a word form takes place in the form paradigm and
starts from a stem (e.g. read; Latin hortā-, from hortor‘encourage’)
to which then pieces of word structure without semantics (PFM is
a-morphous) are attached by rules of exponence. The prototypical
stem has the shape of [root + morpheme]. Similar to roots, stems may
be categoriless, i.e. morphomes (Aronoff 1994). Morphomes are not
associated with specific semantics, cannot be derived syntactically
and are evidence for the existence of morphology by itself, i.e.
against DM where morphology is distributed between syntax and
phonology. Nevertheless, recent DM studies seem to use morphomes:
combinations of categoriless roots and categoriless affixes
(mentioned in 1) are morphomic stems in a stem-based analysis.
Word-based:NM (Dressler et al. 1987) is morphology by itself,
functionalist and cognitively oriented, and allows for root-, stem-
and word-based composition. Since words have a primary role in
discourse, word-based morphology is seen as the most natural,
root-based morphology being the least natural, i.e. if a root or a
stem coincides with a word (e.g. read), the base is classified as a
With respect to decomposition, all three theories agree that people
communicate with words and that the latter have internal structure, i.e.
decomposition seems exclusively word-based. Recent DM-related
neurolinguistic research has provided experimental evidence for this
assumption: speakers decompose the (visual) stimulus (e.g. teacher) into
morphemes, look these up in the mental lexicon, and recombine them
(Fruchter et al. 2013; Fruchter & Marantz 2015). It has to be mentioned
herein that PFM and NM have not explicitly addressed decomposition.
Additionally, in PFM composition is exclusively related to form
(a-morphous production of forms); in NM composition involves meaning and
form (NM morphemes relate meaning and form); and in DM composition
refers to meaning (DM morphemes are abstract and correspond to syntactic
terminal nodes), while decomposition involves form and meaning (visual
stimuli such as teacher are well-formed words and thus have meaning). On
the relation of meaning and form in morphology, see Manova et al. (2020).
Finally, regarding the organization of morphology, i.e. the
in DM, there is no principal difference between derivational and
inflectional affixes, i.e. both types of affixes can serve as heads;
note, however, that the recent claim that some affixes are roots
(references in 1) holds only for derivational affixes;
PFM has been explicitly defined as a theory of inflectional
morphology (Stump 2001) but paradigms have been postulated for
derivational morphology as well (Bonami & Strnadová 2019 and
in NM derivation and inflection are the two poles of a continuum and
there are thus prototypical and non-prototypical derivation and
inflection (Dressler 1989), diminutivization of nouns being an
example of non-prototypical derivation, i.e. between derivation and
inflection but on the derivational side (Dressler & Korecky-Kröll 2015).
We invite papers that, based on diminutives, discuss the (dis)advantages
of a single theoretical framework or different theories comparatively.
Papers that profit from a mix of theories are also welcome. Possible
topics include, but are not limited to:
Diminutivization of major word classes
Diminutivization and non-major word classes
Diminutivization and the derivation-inflection divide
Gender, animacy, countability and diminutivization of nouns
Aspect, pluractionality and diminutivization of verbs
Diminutives versus hypocoristics
Diminutivization of diminutives
Acquisition of diminutive morphology
Diachrony of diminutive morphology
Diminutive morphology in language contact
Sociolinguistic variation of diminutive morphology
Experimental and computational evidence versus theoretical assumptions
Deadline for abstract submission: 20 July 2021
Acceptance notifications: Beginning of September
Workshop: 11-12 December 2021 in Vienna (if the pandemic situation
allows, otherwise the workshop will be held online)
Anonymous abstracts of max. 300 words (excluding references) in either
English or German should be submitted via the online form “Registrierung
Abstracts”, the second form on the following webpage:
<https://oelt2021.univie.ac.at/workshops-abstracts/>. In the field
“Einreichung für den Workshop“, please put the title of the workshop
“Dissecting morphological theory 2: Diminutivization in root-, stem- and
Stela Manova <http://homepage.univie.ac.at/stela.manova/>& Katharina
Aronoff, Mark (1994). Morphology by Itself. Cambridge, Ma: MIT Press.
Arsenijević, Boban (2016). Gender, like classifiers, marks uniform
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Belder, Marijke De (2011). Roots and affixes, eliminating lexical
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Bobaljik, Jonathan (2017). Distributed Morphology. Oxford Research
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Creemers, Ava., Jan Don & Paula Fenger (2018). Some affixes are roots,
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Dressler, Wolfgang U. (1989). Prototypical differences between
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Fruchter, Joseph & Alec Marantz (2015). Decomposition, lookup, and
recombination: MEG evidence for the Full Decomposition model of complex
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Fruchter, Joseph, Linnaea Stockall & Alec Marantz (2013). MEG masked
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Manova, Stela & Kimberley Winternitz (2011). Suffix order in double and
multiple diminutives: with data from Polish and Bulgarian. Studies in
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Manova, Stela, Dušan Ptáček & Renáta Gregová (2017). Second-grade
diminutives in Czech and Slovak: A contrastive study with data from
corpora. In Luka Repanšek & Matej Šekli (eds.). 12. letno srečanje
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языкознания. Ljubljana, Slovenia, Sept. 21-24. Založba ZRC, Inštitut za
slovenski jezik Frana Ramovša, pp. 121-122. ISBN 978-961-05-0027-8.
Manova, Stela, Harald Hammarström, Itamar Kastner & Yining Nie (2020).
What is in a morpheme? Theoretical, experimental and computational
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Oltra-Massuet, Isabel & Elena Castroviejo (2014). A syntactic approach
to the morpho-semantic variation of -ear. Lingua151: 120-41.
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Tovena, Lucia M.. (2011). When Small Is Many in the Event Domain. Lexis
[Online]6: 41-58, URL : http://journals.openedition.org/lexis/414
<http://journals.openedition.org/lexis/414>; DOI: 10.4000/lexis.414.*
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