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New Undergraduate Course Supplement 2020


LING 80.08 Nonconcatenative Morphology

The field of morphology investigates word structure: How are complex words built up from their component parts? Arguably the most common kind of morphology, affixation and compounding are concatenative: two or more separable morphemes are combined to create a complex word. This course focuses on the more challenging set of phenomena known as nonconcatenative morphology: those cases where a clean line cannot be drawn between morphemes. We will explore a range of data patterns included under this heading, including Semitic root-and-pattern morphology, grammatical tone, reduplication, ablaut, truncation, and consonant mutation. We will then evaluate formal approaches to nonconcatenative morphology, which pushes most theoretical frameworks of morphology to their limits.

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