Jonathan David Bobaljik

Jonathan David Bobaljik is Professor of Linguistics at the Harvard University.

  • Universals in Comparative Morphology

    Universals in Comparative Morphology

    Suppletion, Superlatives, and the Structure of Words

    Jonathan David Bobaljik

    An argument for, and account of linguistic universals in the morphology of comparison, combining empirical breadth and theoretical rigor.

    This groundbreaking study of the morphology of comparison yields a surprising result: that even in suppletion (the wholesale replacement of one stem by a phonologically unrelated stem, as in good-better-best) there emerge strikingly robust patterns, virtually exceptionless generalizations across languages. Jonathan David Bobaljik describes the systematicity in suppletion, and argues that at least five generalizations are solid contenders for the status of linguistic universals. The major topics discussed include suppletion, comparative and superlative formation, deadjectival verbs, and lexical decomposition. Bobaljik's primary focus is on morphological theory, but his argument also aims to integrate evidence from a variety of subfields into a coherent whole.

    In the course of his analysis, Bobaljik argues that the assumptions needed bear on choices among theoretical frameworks and that the framework of Distributed Morphology has the right architecture to support the account. In addition to the theoretical implications of the generalizations, Bobaljik suggests that the striking patterns of regularity in what otherwise appears to be the most irregular of linguistic domains provide compelling evidence for Universal Grammar.

    The book strikes a unique balance between empirical breadth and theoretical detail. The phenomenon that is the main focus of the argument, suppletion in adjectival gradation, is rare enough that Bobaljik is able to present an essentially comprehensive description of the facts; at the same time, it is common enough to offer sufficient variation to explore the question of universals over a significant dataset of more than three hundred languages.

    • Hardcover $45.00 £35.00

Contributor

  • Distributed Morphology Today

    Distributed Morphology Today

    Morphemes for Morris Halle

    Ora Matushansky and Alec P. Marantz

    Essays that offer original theoretical contributions in Distributed Morphology and highlight the lasting influence of Morris Halle, a founder of the field.

    This collection offers a snapshot of current research in Distributed Morphology, highlighting the lasting influence of Morris Halle, a pioneer in generative linguistics. Distributed Morphology, which integrates the morphological with the syntactic, originated in Halle's work. These essays, written to mark his 90th birthday, make original theoretical contributions to the field and emphasize Halle's foundational contributions to the study of morphology.

    The authors primarily focus on the issues of locality, exploring the tight connection of morphology to phonology, syntax and semantics that lies at the core of Distributed Morphology. The nature of phases, the notion of a morpho-syntactic feature, allomorphy and exponence, the synthetic/analytic alternation, stress assignment, and syntactic agreement are all shown to link to more than one grammatical module.

    Animated discussion with students has been central to Halle's research, and the development of Distributed Morphology has been shaped and continued by his students, many of whom have contributed to this volume. Halle's support, advice, and enthusiasm encouraged the research exemplified here. In the Hallean tradition, these papers are sure to inspire all generations of morphologists.

    Contributors Karlos Arregi, Jonathan David Bobaljik, Eulàlia Bonet, David Embick, Daniel Harbour, Heidi Harley, Alec Marantz, Tatjana Marvin, Ora Matushansky, Martha McGinnis, Andrew Nevins, Rolf Noyer, Isabel Oltra-Massuet, Mercedes Tubino Blanco, Susi Wurmbrand

    • Hardcover $45.00 £35.00