LSTL 38: Analogy

Artikel-Nr.: ISBN 9783895868986
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The Relation between Lexicon and Grammar

Iwona Kraska-Szlenk
University of Warsaw

This book examines the mechanism of analogy in the context of language use and from the perspective of the Optimality Theoretic formal model. It is argued that both kinds of analogy, paradigmatic leveling and proportional (pattern) analogy, strongly correlate with type and token frequency and are also dependant on semantic distance between the base and its correspondent.

The argument is supported by a detailed case study of vocalic alternations in Polish using synchronic and diachronic evidence. The second part of this work concentrates on factors other than frequency which may cause or prevent analogical developments. Illustrative linguistic material comes from a variety of languages including Polish, Swahili, Arabic and English.

The study stresses the active role of lexicon in shaping language grammar. Due to the dynamic character of lexicon-grammar interaction, analogical changes are not only interpretable, but to some extent predictable from historical and synchronic facts. The data discussed in the book provide also evidence that an abstract concept of language grammar does not directly emerge from usage statistics, but is only motivated by it and mediated through the process of phonologization.

ISBN 9783895868986 (Hardbound). LINCOM Studies in Theoretical Linguistics 38. 216pp. 2007.

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