Linguistics Colloquium: Lior Laks
Lior Laks, Bar Ilan University
Title: Morphological compensation for empty paradigm cells
Abstract: This talk examines gaps in Hebrew passivization, where verbs in certain patterns lack infinitive forms and compensate for it by relying on inflectional paradigms of other patterns. Empty cells in the inflectional system are filled based on inter-paradigmatic relations between verbal patterns, where the relation between them is derivational.
Hebrew infinitives are formed in different patterns based on their verbal pattern (binyan) (hiklid-lehaklid'(to) type'). CuCaC and huCCaC lack infinitive forms (huklad-*lehuklad '(to) be typed') Conceptually, there seems to be no reason for this gap, which is less typical of inflectional paradigms (Booij 1997, Stump&Finkel 2013 and references therein). niCCaC passive verbs have infinitives (nišlax-lehišalax '(to) be sent'). Because niCCaC is not exclusively passive, its infinitive pattern is also available as passive.
A web search reveals cases where speakers use niCCaC infinitive patterns for CuCaC and huCCaC. For example, the infinitive of huklad ('be typed') surfaces as lehikaled despite the lack of such verb in niCCaC(*niklad). This is a relatively rare case of paradigm (binyan) crossing, where empty cells in one inflectional paradigm are filled by relying on another paradigm. Note the relations between the paradigms of each binyan are derivational. The infinitive form could be expressed periphrastically using participle forms of the same paradigm with the verb 'be' (lihyot muklad 'to be typed'), but there is a tendency to express it via one lexeme (see Kiparsky 2005). Speakers compensate for the lack of infinitive patterns and reply on niCCaCas the only passive binyan with infinitives. Despite the low productivity of niCCaC, it is still used for filling empty cells. This shows the importance of paradigm accessibility in both inflection and derivation beyond paradigms of specific patterns.
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