Chapter 6: Defaults and paradigmatic restructuring: diachronic deponency


In this chapter we consider Latin deponency in a diachronic context. We find that deponent paradigms disappear by ceding their mismatch pattern of exponence to an aligned one. As we shall see, this move assumes the notion of ‘virtual paradigm’, the regular alternative paradigm that is called into the service of syntax at a later diachronic stage. We account for paradigm restructuring as the realignment of function with form by simply resetting the 1st order default. we give a Network Morphology account of paradigmatic restructuring, specifically with reference to deponents. Virtual paradigms are central to our account, the product of morphology by itself and further evidence for autonomous morphology. In §6.1 we situate paradigmatic realignment in the context of paradigmatic restructuring, showing it to be the result of the same pressures found in cases of analogical leveling and extension. §6.2 is devoted to virtual paradigms, by-products of the morphological machinery that are never pressed into the service of syntax. In (3) inherits from VERB and this means that it will inherit the equation which states that morphosyntactically active verbs are morphologically active, as we showed in the previous chapter. The double quotes in the RHS for stage N+1 indicate that the value is determined from the global context and so it will be available at the lexical entry. Despite being a deponent verb, ancestral hortor has available to it an active paradigm from the morphological system. This is of no use while the lexeme is deponent but a descendent lexeme may make use of it. §6.3 is the Network Morphology account of deponency regularization as realignment due to default restoration and draws extensively on Flobert’s (1975) survey of deponency. In §6.4 we consider some of the wider implications of an account that invokes virtual paradigms, and we discuss how our model might be extended to account for the emergence of deponents in the first place.

Associated Theories: 

The theory associated with this chapter, ch6_latin.dtr, is a modified version of ch5_latin.dtr introduced in chapter 5 so as to accommodate the regularization of deponent verbs. As this is a lexical process, this amounts to furnishing the theory with a set of lexical entries that serve as regular counter parts to certain deponent verbs. They are marked out by containing the override <syn active> == VERB and <syn passive> == VERB, which is an invoking of the exceptional case default. The theory provides virtual and 'real' paradigms, the former generated by declaring <mor> show paths. We also include a toy theory that represents the emergence of deponency, discussed in section 6.4.4 where passive arises by using the diachronically earlier middle morphology: <syn passive> == "<mor middle>".

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