HPSG 2013

Artemis Alexiadou: Where's morphology? Taking stock

In this talk, I will revisit the arguments in favor of two places for word formation by focussing on (adjectival) passive formation. As is well known, (adjectival) passive formation involves an operation on the verb's argument structure that is marked on the morphology of the verb.

My domain of empirical investigation will be the idiosyncracies associated with passive formation in some languages (Palestinian Arabic and Greek) but not in others (Standard Arabic and English/German). I will show that such patterns provide evidence against a lexicon vs. syntax parameter, according to which some processes take place in the syntax, while others take place in the lexicon. I will then offer an analysis of the phenomenon under discussion from the perspective of Distributed Morphology that captures the properties of passive formation across languages.