The iconicity of affix order
Stela Manova
April 2023

Iconicity is the motivated relationship between an affix and its position. Two affix-order strategies are recognized: template morphology (stipulated fixed order whereby affixes are assigned to slots) and layered morphology (step-by-step derivation involving semantic scope, as a rule). Meaning is associated with words, affixes, and positions. The iconicity of affix order varies from low (templatic) to high (scopal), with mixed templatic-scopal systems in between. The mirror principle and the relevance principle relate affix order to word order. Scopal ordering is compatible with both principles, templates are not. Affix order systems of many languages, initially analyzed as templatic, have, later when more data became available, been re-analyzed as scopal. A scopal relationship is easier to detect in combinations of two affixes (bigrams) than in longer sequences. Unmotivated affix order patterns, if analyzed in terms of bigrams and trigrams, turn out to be regular patterns. Affix order tends to be iconic.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007270
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in The Oxford Handbook of Iconicity in Language, edited by Olga Fischer, Kimi Akita & Pamela Perniss. New York: Oxford University Press.
keywords: affix order, word order, iconicity, morphology, syntax, templates, semantic scope, mirror principle, relevance principle, n-grams, syntax, phonology, semantics, morphology
Downloaded:1227 times


[ edit this article | back to article list ]