Why prefixes?

Mithun, Marianne (2003) Why prefixes? Acta Linguistica Hungarica, 50 (1-2). pp. 155-185. ISSN 1216-8076


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A variety of explanations have been offered for the observed cross-linguistic preponderance of suffixes over prefixes. Many are couched in terms of synchronic advantages, such as the cognitive simplicity of cross-category harmony between syntax and morphology, and preferences for processing the lexical meaning in stems before the grammatical material in affixes. But hypotheses about functional advantages cannot constitute explanations in themselves without accounts of the mechanisms by which the advantages are translated into grammatical structure. Here it is shown that the numerous exceptions to such hypotheses can be explained when the individual histories of the affixes are considered, including both their sources and the steps by which they develop.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature / nyelvészet és irodalom > P0 Philology. Linguistics / filológia, nyelvészet
Depositing User: xFruzsina xPataki
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2017 19:44
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2017 19:44

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