Chapter 1: What are inflectional paradigms?


Chapter 1 (‘What are inflectional paradigms?’) introduces the notion of an inflectional paradigm and its relevance to morphology, syntax and semantics.  Current theories of grammar are in stark disagreement over the significance of inflectional paradigms; some hold that paradigms are merely an epiphenomenon of principles of morpheme combination and therefore have no role in the definition of a language’s inflectional morphology; others maintain that the definition of a language’s inflectional morphology makes essential reference to the structure of paradigms.  I discuss the numerous shortcomings of a morpheme-based conception of inflectional morphology and present two hypotheses that assume a paradigm-based approach.