The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Course Announcement: 24.965 Morphology

Instructors: Adam Albright, David Pesetsky
Thursdays 2—5, 32-D461

Course description:

Topics in the structure of words and their components, including why such things should exist in the first place (if, indeed, they do). What is the evidence for structure below the level of the word? What (if anything) distinguishes word structure from sentence structure? What principles account for the phonological shape of complex words? Why does morphology sometimes fail to express syntactic/semantic differences (one affix, two functions), and why does it sometimes “overexpress” them (two affixes, one function). The big question underlying the course will be: is there a distinct morphological grammar, or can morphological phenomena all be understood as arising from the interaction of syntax and phonology?

Course website: http://stellar.mit.edu/S/course/24/sp08/24.965

Schedule of Topics (subject to revision):

2/7-2/14       Morphous vs. a-morphous approaches
2/21-2/28 Affix Ordering, part I
3/6 Syncretism
3/13 Inflectional classes
3/20 Stem allomorphy
4/7-4/10 Interlude: presentations of problems to be worked on for final projects
4/17 Affix Ordering, part II
4/24 Blocking
5/1 Productivity
5/8 Defectivity and gaps
5/15 Morphology and the mental lexicon