Chapter 3: Morphosyntactic properties


Chapter 3 (‘Morphosyntactic properties’) is a detailed examination of the nature of morphosyntactic properties (or ‘features’, Corbett 2012).  Morphosyntactic properties are part of the shared vocabulary of morphology, syntax and semantics. They serve in syntax to determine a word form’s distribution with respect to other constituents and to regulate its relations with other parts of a sentence; in morphology, they determine the inflectional exponents involved in a word form’s phonological expression; and at least some morphosyntactic properties are associated with specific semantic content.  In order to understand the structure of inflectional paradigms, it is essential to be precise about the characteristics of morphosyntactic properties—their association with syntactic categories, the ways in which they may be associated with word forms, the ways in which they combine, the logical relations that may exist between different sets of morphosyntactic properties, property constraints and their satisfaction, and the nature of morphosyntactic properties’ exponence.