F-to-c-structure mapping

Accounting for inflectional morphology and periphrasis


  • Alex Alsina Universitat Pompeu Fabra


morphology-syntax interface, lexicalism, inflectional periphrasis, Latin periphrastic verb forms, Catalan, morphology


The treatment of inflectional periphrasis is problematic in LFG, apparently because of the lexicalist nature of the framework. A close inspection of what is usually understood by lexicalism reveals two distinct, but related, notions: lexicalism and lexical encapsulation. Complex inflectional systems show that one can preserve lexicalism (the idea that words and phrases are different in terms of units and rules of composition), but that it is necessary to reject lexical encapsulation (the idea that words are formed without input from syntax). An adequate theory of inflectional morphology needs a framework that is not constrained by lexical encapsulation. Having such a framework, it is then possible to give a correct account of inflectional periphrasis. The paper develops the analysis of two periphrastic constructions, one in Latin and one in Catalan, within a non-encapsulated version of LFG.