We present the theoretical profile of Network Morphology. Network Morphology is a paradigm-based framework: morphological generalizations are gathered at the level of the paradigm . In this chapter we create a profile of Network Morphology by outlining options available to a morphological framework and showing which ones are taken. We can think of where to locate generalization--at the morpheme level or at the paradigm--as the first set of options. Other options largely follow from the choice made here. In §1.1 we consider options in what is taken to be the fundamental object of enquiry in morphology. A paradigm-based approach entails that this is the lexeme rather than the morpheme. Choosing the lexeme entails other options; for example, that the approach is also inferential rather than lexical. In §1.2 we look at options in how to conceive morphology in relation to the rest of the grammar. We contrast the notion of an autonomous component for morphology, adopted by Network Morphology, with the alternative that the grammar is more like a seamless web where there are no boundaries between syntax and morphology. The alternative naturally follows from the option that generalization is at the morpheme level, such that principles of word structure could in theory be principles of phrase structure. A good representative alternative is Distributed Morphology, and this theory therefore receives most of our attention. The nature of generalization is explored in §1.3 where we discuss the concepts of inheritance hierarchy and network that are fundamental to Network Morphology’s way of capturing generalizations, as well as accommodating semi-regular cases. Exactly how inheritance is interpreted provides further options: mandatory or default inheritance, single or multiple inheritance. Network Morphology is a formal framework: it is computer interpretable due to the lexical knowledge representation language in which its theories are expressed, the DATR language. Formalization as an option for morphological frameworks is briefly discussed in §1.4. A summary of the options taken (and not taken) by Network Morphology is presented in §1.5, a character profile of the framework. How this profile is projected into the chapters of the book is briefly outlined, too.
The theory ch1_russian.dtr associated with this chapter is a simple default inheritance network of Russian noun classes and sample lexical entries, illustrating default inheritance, orthogonal multiple inheritance and semi-regularity and relates specifically to the discussion on pages 30-36.