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Section C

Theoretical and Applied Linguistics


LI8: Morphology

This paper is available for the academic year 2024-25.

Li8: Morphology offers a concise overview of morphological variation in the languages of the world, provides an introduction to the descriptive and theoretical models that have been developed to analyze this variation, and summarizes the main sources of experimental and other external evidence for the evaluation of models and the validation of their claims.

The course highlights the substantive ideas about word structure and grammatical organization that underlie current morphological models and identifies any typological biases or independent theoretical commitments. Students are taught standard techniques of morphological analysis and are expected to gain facility in interpreting and evaluating analyses from different theoretical perspectives. A variety of languages are analyzed, and students are offered the opportunity to investigate questions raised in the course in relation to languages with which they are familiar or in which they have an interest.


Li8.1 introduction to and overview of morphological analysis

Li8.2 decomposition

Li8.3 inflection and derivation

Li8.4 gender and agreement

Li8.5 diachrony

Li8.6 psychomorphology and neuromorphology

Li8.7 acquisition of morphology

Li8.8 productivity and exponence

Li8.9 morphomes and priscianic phenomena

Li8.10 blocking

Li8.11 opacity

Li8.12 Lexical Phonology and Morphology

Li8.13 Prosodic Morphology

Li8.14 Distributed Morphology

Li8.15 Word and Paradigm Morphology and Usage-Based Morphology

Li8.16 theory comparison (with special reference to prosodically-conditioned suppletive allomorphy)

Preparatory reading: 
  • Matthews, P.H. 1991. Morphology. Cambridge University Press.
  • Haspelmath, M. and A. Sims. 2010. Understanding Morphology, 2nd edn. London: Hodder.
  • Aronoff, M. and K. Fudeman. 2010. What is Morphology?, 2nd edn. Wiley.
Teaching and learning: 

16 one-hour lectures, 8 one-hour supervisions.

The paper's Moodle site can be found here.


Assessment will be by a 3hr in person written exam.

Course Contacts: 
Prof Bert Vaux