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Title: The Ibero-Romance verb : allomorphy and the notion of the morphome
Author: O'Neill, Paul
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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The word morphome or the adjective morphomic, despite being used increasingly in the linguistic literature, are vague terms that are used to refer to a varied set of linguistic phenomena. The aim of this thesis is to investigate the different nuances of what has been referred to as a morphome and offer terminological clarity. I base my study on the allomorphy in the Thero-Romance verb and the morphomes established for these varieties of Romance by Maiden (2004c). With specific reference to Spanish I demonstrate that the different types of root allomorphy which occupy the cells of these morphomes cannot be explained in terms of semantic or phonological generalizations but must constitute lexically stored allomorphs. I draw upon diachronic evidence to suggest that the morphomes in Spanish constitute a grammatical reality for speakers. On the basis of comparative Romance data I refine the definition of the morphome and argue that it is not exclusively concerned with the regular distribution of an identical root of a specific number of lexemes within the inflectional paradigm. My data prompts the conclusion that identity of form is not a defining principle of the morphome and that a morphome can function as the domain within which morphophophonemic alternations are levelled. I suggest that the morphome is set of cells which form a grammatical unit for purely morphological reasons and ought to be considered as a grammatical reality independent of any type of allomorphy. I examine how my data can be captured by current theories of morphology and suggest that the most suitable models are those which can be termed abstractive: in which morphology is conceived as a set of relations among whole word forms and not as the concatenation of grammatically meaningful formatives to stored roots or stems.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available