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Title: Morphological doublets in Croatian : a multi-methodological analysis
Author: Lecic, Dario
ISNI:       0000 0004 5993 3673
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2016
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The term morphological doubletism refers to a situation in language when there are two (or more) morphemes available for a single cell in an inflectional paradigm of a lexeme. Slavonic languages, with their rich inflectional systems, show particularly high levels of doubletism. In the present dissertation we analyse examples of doubletism in Croatian nominal paradigms. As shown by the dissertation’s subtitle, “a multi-methodological analysis”, we compare and contrast evidence obtained by various methods. First we conduct a corpus study to determine the frequency distributions of the doublet pairs in present-day Croatian. This analysis has shown that the distribution of the doublet pairs is not determined by any intra- or extra-linguistic factor, but that it is not completely random either. These distributions are later used in several additional studies, the purpose of which is to answer the question of how such forms are processed in speakers’ mental grammars. One of the analyses is a computational one, in which we try to reproduce a grammar of a Croatian speaker by using two memory based models (AM and TiMBL). The models were highly successful in producing the desired output without resorting to any rules or generalizations. We also report the results of three questionnaire studies, all of which show that native speakers are extremely sensitive to the language input they receive, in line with usage-based theories of language, as well as that mental grammars are gradient. The speakers’ ratings and production rates closely matched the proportions of the doublet pairs in the corpus. Furthermore, speakers distinguish between several levels of domination of one ending over another. When the domination of one form is weak, speakers resort to a different decision criterion, namely they look at the dominant ending of phonologically similar words.
Supervisor: Bermel, Neil ; Divjak, Dagmar Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available