Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Folia Linguistica

Acta Societatis Linguisticae Europaeae

Editor-in-Chief: Fischer, Olga / Norde, Muriel

4 Issues per year


Folia Linguistica
IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.324
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.616

CiteScore 2017: 0.55

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.349
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 1.093


Folia Linguistica Historica
IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.529
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.525

Online
ISSN
1614-7308
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 45, Issue 1

Issues

The indeterminacy of word segmentation and the nature of morphology and syntax

Martin Haspelmath
  • Corresponding author
  • Max-Planck-Institut für evolutionäre, Anthropologie, Deutscher Platz 6, D-04105 Leipzig, Germany
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2011-03-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/flin.2011.002

The general distinction between morphology and syntax is widely taken for granted, but it crucially depends on a cross-linguistically valid concept of ‘(morphosyntactic) word’. I show that there are no good criteria for defining such a concept. I examine ten criteria in some detail (potential pauses, free occurrence, mobility, uninterruptibility, non-selectivity, non-coordinatability, anaphoric islandhood, nonextractability, morphophonological idiosyncrasies, and deviations from bi-uniqueness), and I show that none of them is necessary and sufficient on its own, and no combination of them gives a definition of ‘word’ that accords with linguists' orthographic practice. ‘Word’ can be defined as a language-specific concept, but this is not relevant to the general question pursued here. ‘Word’ can be defined as a fuzzy concept, but this is theoretically meaningful only if the continuum between affixes and words, or words and phrases, shows some clustering, for which there is no systematic evidence at present. Thus, I conclude that we do not currently have a good basis for dividing the domain of morphosyntax into morphology and syntax, and that linguists should be very careful with general claims that make crucial reference to a cross-linguistic ‘word’ notion.

Keywords:: word; clitic; affix; morphology; syntax; morphosyntax; lexical integrity

About the article

Received: 2010-03-31

: 2010-05-23

Accepted: 2010-06-25

Published Online: 2011-03-14

Published in Print: 2011-05-01


Citation Information: Folia Linguistica, Volume 45, Issue 1, Pages 31–80, ISSN (Online) 1614-7308, ISSN (Print) 0165-4004, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/flin.2011.002.

Export Citation

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

[3]
Fernando Zúñiga
International Journal of American Linguistics, 2017, Volume 83, Number 1, Page 111
[4]
[5]
Barbara A. Fox, Fay Wouk, Steven Fincke, Wilfredo Hernandez Flores, Makoto Hayashi, Minna Laakso, Yael Maschler, Abolghasem Mehrabi, Marja-Leena Sorjonen, Susanne Uhmann, and Hyun Jung Yang
Studies in Language, 2017, Volume 41, Number 3
[6]
Christian Bentz, Dimitrios Alikaniotis, Michael Cysouw, and Ramon Ferrer-i-Cancho
Entropy, 2017, Volume 19, Number 6, Page 275
[7]
João VELOSO
Alfa : Revista de Linguística (São José do Rio Preto), 2017, Volume 61, Number 1, Page 133
[8]
Matthew T. Carlson and Chip Gerfen
Language Learning, 2017, Volume 67, Number 3, Page 599
[10]
Christian Bentz, Annemarie Verkerk, Douwe Kiela, Felix Hill, Paula Buttery, and Mark Aronoff
PLOS ONE, 2015, Volume 10, Number 6, Page e0128254
[11]
Alexander Koplenig, Peter Meyer, Sascha Wolfer, Carolin Müller-Spitzer, and Kenny Smith
PLOS ONE, 2017, Volume 12, Number 3, Page e0173614
[12]
Christian Bentz, Dimitrios Alikaniotis, Tanja Samardžić, and Paula Buttery
Journal of Quantitative Linguistics, 2017, Volume 24, Number 2-3, Page 128
[13]
AKIKO NAGANO
ENGLISH LINGUISTICS, 2013, Volume 30, Number 1, Page 111
[14]
[15]
Johan van der Auwera and Kalyanamalini Sahoo
Acta Linguistica Hafniensia, 2015, Volume 47, Number 2, Page 136
[18]
John Mansfield
Asia-Pacific Language Variation, 2015, Volume 1, Number 2, Page 163
[19]
[20]
Christopher R. Green and Michelle E. Morrison
Morphology, 2016, Volume 26, Number 1, Page 3
[21]
[22]
The Mental Lexicon, 2014, Volume 9, Number 2, Page 316
[23]
Fernando Zúñiga
Morphology, 2014, Volume 24, Number 3, Page 161
[24]
Rik van Gijn and Fernando Zúñiga
Morphology, 2014, Volume 24, Number 3, Page 135
[25]
Maris Camilleri, Shaimaa ElSadek, and Louisa Sadler
Acta Linguistica Hungarica, 2014, Volume 61, Number 1, Page 3
[26]
Jeff Siegel, Benedikt Szmrecsanyi, and Bernd Kortmann
Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, 2014, Volume 29, Number 1, Page 49
[27]
Martin Haspelmath
Theoretical Linguistics, 2011, Volume 37, Number 1-2

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in