Morphology and Linguistic Typology

On-line Proceedings of the Fourth Mediterranean Morphology Meeting (MMM4) Catania, 21-23 September 2003

ISSN 1826-7491 [284 pages.]
Edited by Geert Booij, Emiliano Guevara, Angela Ralli, Salvatore Sgroi & Sergio Scalise
Date of publication: September 15, 2005.
Università degli Studi di Bologna.

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Each MMM has a specific topic that forms one of the criteria for the selection of abstracts. The topic of the Catania meeting was ‘Morphology and linguistic typology’. At first sight, this may look like a very obvious topic since morphological parameters have always played an important role in the classification of languages. We are all acquainted with labels such as ‘isolating language’ or ‘polysynthetic language’. Indeed, morphological typology forms a long-standing and very fruitful research tradition. Yet, there were good reasons to have a fresh look at the relation between morphology and linguistic typology. For many years, debates on morphology focused on theoretical issues, such as its relation to phonology and syntax. There are many different views on the degree of autonomy of morphology, but it is clear by now that morphology is well-established subdiscipline of linguistics. Typological issues have also received new interest, and there is no longer a fruitless separation of typological and theoretical research. Therefore, the MMM committee wanted to put the relation between morphology and typology high on the agenda. Many of the papers in these proceedings show that comparative and typologically informed morphological research is essential for proper morphological analyses of individual languages, and for the development of an empirical adequate theory of morphology.

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