Chapter 12: Deponency and metaconjugation


Another well-documented phenomenon involving a mismatch of content and form is that of deponency.  In Chapter 12 (‘Deponency and metaconjugation’), I discuss deponent paradigms, in which morphology that ordinarily serves to realize one class of morphosyntactic property sets is instead used to realize a contrasting class of property sets.  In Latin, for example, deponent verbs possess the morphology usual for passives but exhibit the syntax and semantics of active verbs. Deponency involving morphosyntactic properties other than properties of voice are observable in a number of languages.  I distinguish deponency from metaconjugation, the realization of content-level morphosyntactic contrasts as form-level distinctions in inflection-class membership.