Morphology and Syntax in Competition: The Place of Inflectional Periphrasis

Spencer, Andrew and Popova, Gergana. 2024. Morphology and Syntax in Competition: The Place of Inflectional Periphrasis. In: Adam Ledgeway; Edith Aldridge; Anne Breitbarth; Katalin Kiss É.; Joseph Salmons and Alexandra Simonenko, eds. The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Diachronic Linguistics. Wiley Blackwell. ISBN 9781119898016 [Book Section] (Forthcoming)

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Abstract or Description

Inflectional periphrasis is the realization of inflectional properties by a lexical word-form and an ancillary function word. In categorial periphrasis the inflectional property is entirely defined by the periphrase; in intersective periphrasis the periphrase occupies a cell in an otherwise synthetically realized paradigm. We set out the conceptual prerequisites: the notions of ‘inflectional property’, ‘(inflected) word-form’, ‘lexeme’, and ‘paradigm’ and then discuss the criteria that have been proposed for determining whether a given construction is periphrastic, focusing on the feature intersection property and on non-compositionality. We illustrate a variety of the phenomena and issues surrounding periphrasis with a detailed discussion of the very rich periphrastic verb morphology of Bulgarian, which illustrates, inter alia, the interaction with clitic systems and zero realization with periphrastic paradigms. We conclude with a survey of the kinds of grammaticalization paths that lead up to periphrasis and the subsequent developments shown by periphrases, focusing on clitic affix alternations (morphologization) and morphosyntactic categorial mixing as evidence of partial grammaticalization, illustrated by comparison of the form of the have-perfect in the closely related languages Bulgarian and Macedonian.

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Book Section

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature



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Date Deposited:

18 Mar 2024 13:47

Last Modified:

18 Mar 2024 15:24


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