Note: This is the paperback edition of a previously announced book.
Syncretism - where a single form serves two or more morphosyntactic
functions - is a persistent problem at the syntax-morphology interface. It
results from a ‘mismatch’ whereby the syntax of a language makes a
particular distinction but the morphology does not. This pioneering book
provides a full-length study of inflectional syncretism, presenting a
typology of its occurrence across a wide range of languages. The
implications of syncretism for the syntax-morphology interface have long
been recognised: it argues either for an enriched model of feature
structure (thereby preserving a direct link between function and form), or
for the independence of morphological structure from syntactic structure.
This book presents a compelling argument for the autonomy of morphology and
the resulting analysis is illustrated in a series of formal case studies
within Network Morphology. It will be welcomed by all linguists interested
in the relation between words and the larger units of which they are a part.