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Auteur: Nina ZHUKOVA

On Selection Of The Method Of Morphological Categories Description (Data of the Verbal Paradigm of Modern German)

Abstract/Résumé: When selecting the method of morphological categories description, the heterogeneity of the morphological level reflecting permanent change, characteristic of the entire language system has to be considered. In linguistic literature, examples of different interpretations of the same facts in the same language are presented, e.g. in description of the nominal and the verbal paradigms. According to the analysis of such controversial cases, the main differences occur when one part of words distinguishes more word-forms than the rest. Here unifying (A – modeled on the more differentiated paradigm, B – modeled on the less differentiated paradigm) or differentiating methods are used to describe morphological categories. In accord with the differentiating method, morphological categories can be presented with several paradigms containing different amount of word-forms. In its turn, it is associated with the existence of syncretic forms in the paradigm with a smaller amount of word-forms and the denial of a homonymy phenomenon. When the content of the paradigm of one subclass is defined by analogy with the paradigm of another subclass (unifying method А), homonyms are introduced for analysis. Thus, the problem of method selection for morphological description is related to the problem of differentiating homonymy from syncretism. Syncretism in morphology is one of the dependence indicators of categories (percentage of morphological category expression determined by the presence/absence of syncretic forms) and the criterion of establishing a hierarchy between them. The hierarchy of verbal categories is a synchronous-static productivity indicator. More resistant and stable, productive categories play an important part in language system as less duplicated by means of other levels. The lowest productivity of categories, their peripheric character is evidence of their position weakening within the language system. Productivity enables us to define a development perspective and introduce a motion element into the synchronic description of the language system. The unifying method «obscures» the changes that occurred and occur in the German language system. A certain function transfer from morphological to syntactic means takes place, i.e. a relation change between morphological and syntactic levels, as a manifestation of a system-wide trend to isolation. In Modern German the isolation trend is manifested in existence of specific phenomena of both intra- and interlayer character, reflecting changes in the synchronic aspect. Gradualness of this typologically relevant function transfer explains the existence of a systemic redundancy, syncretism and different types of both verbal and nominal paradigm.