Roots into functional nodes: Exploring locality and semi-lexicality

Victor Acedo-Matellán, Cristina Real-Puigdollers

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We explore certain predictions of the theory first presented in Acedo-Matellán and Real-Puigdollers (2014), whereby roots correspond to (lately inserted) Vocabulary Items that phonologically and semantically interpret functional nodes. First, we deal with categorizers (a, n, v), a prominent locus for the insertion of roots. Roots such as cat or up are Vocabulary Items that have no context of insertion and are insertable into any categorizer, accounting for the categorial variability of simple words. Derivational affixes like -ation or -al also correspond to roots inserted into little head categorizers (n and a, respectively, in this case), but their Vocabulary Items have a context of insertion accounting for their categorial rigidity and their c-selection properties. The exploration proposed here focuses, first, on the locality properties of morphemic interactions at the semantic interface, namely, allosemic interactions. We show that our approach makes felicitous predictions seemingly unavailable to those other localist approaches in which roots are distinct nodes in the syntax. Second, we show that the phenomenon of semi-lexicality, as illustrated by classifiers, can be successfully modeled, in our framework, as the insertion of roots into inflectional nodes.
Idioma originalEnglish
Pàgines (de-a)411-436
Nombre de pàgines26
RevistaThe Linguistic Review
Data online anticipada28 de març 2019
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 25 de set. 2019


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