1932

Abstract

Within Distributed Morphology, it has been proposed that the lexical vocabulary consists of Roots: category-less primitives. The motivation for Roots is connected with a line of argument reaching back to Chomsky's “Remarks on Nominalization” concerning the representation of lexical categories and their role in syntax. At the center of the theory of Roots is the Two Domains Intuition: the idea that there are two different types of domains in which grammatical interactions (form: allomorphy; meaning: allosemy) occur. Roots are posited as part of an argument against lexicalist approaches to the Two Domains Intuition that reduce it to a modular distinction between the lexicon and the syntax. In place of the modular distinction, Root-based approaches hypothesize that domain differences are derivative of syntactic locality effects in a way that connects with the phase theory of Minimalist syntax. This review examines developments leading to current versions of a Roots-and-contexts theory. A particular focus is on the idea that separating lexical Roots from the morphemes that categorize them is essential to defining the distinct locality domains that are posited to explain the effects subsumed under the Two Domains Intuition.

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2021-01-04
2024-06-16
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