Christoph Schwarze _Universitt K by pengxiuhui


									Christoph Schwarze (Universität Konstanz)
Manner adverbs and the separation of inflection and derivation

In most morphological analyses a distinction is made between inflectional and derivational
morphology. This distinction can be viewed as a merely practical one: it provides a point
of view for the organization of research and for expository arrangement of descriptions.
But the distinction may also be understood as a principled separation (“split morphology”,
see Booij 2000:366ff). Models of grammar that derive inflected forms from underlying
syntactic information imply such a principled separation, whereas lexicalist models (“strong
lexicalism”) do not. At the present stage, the question of whether inflection and derivation
are strictly separate parts of morphology is far from being settled (see also Stump
In the past, there has been a long discussion on this topic (cf. the overview given by
Scalise 1988). Morphologists generally agree that inflection and derivation actually are
different (cf. the collection of criteria in Scalise 1988:563f, Stump 1998:15f), and the
author of the present paper shares this consensus. But if the distinction implies a
principled separation in the architecture of grammar, it must be a clear-cut one, and this
may well be questioned. In fact, there are morphological processes which have an
uncertain status with respect to the distinction. The formation of infinite verb forms –
participles, infinitives, gerunds (see Booij 2000:361f)– is a classical case; in the present
paper it will be shown that the formation of adverbs from adjectives is another one.
In the morphological analysis of Italian, the process which forms adverbs by affixing -
mente to adjectives is generally considered a case of derivational morphology (Scal ise
1994:103f, 1995:472, Schwarze 1995:600). Even though those authors do not explicitly
justify this, the reason obviously is that processes which change the lexical category of the
base are typical of derivation. But lexical categories are controversial in general, and, in
particular, the relationship between adjectives and derived adverbs is not as clear as the
traditional terminology suggests. In German, the equivalents of Italian -mente-adverbs are
formally identical with the suffixless form of the adjective, and there is no formal
difference between the predicative adjective (die Musik ist laut „the music is loud„ ) and
the adjunct (er lacht laut „he laughs loudly„). One may be tempted to claim that the
adjunct is, rather than an adverb, “a form of the adjective”. This impression is still
stronger in Latin, where the adverbial suffixes are sensitive to the inflectional class of the
adjective (cf. lent-e „slowly‟ vs. fort-iter „strongly‟), and, in the comparative, they are
formally identical with a suffix of gender inflection (fort-ius a. „stronger‟, neuter, b. „more
strongly‟). In fact, being sensitive to inflectional class is typical of inflectional suffixes;
again, the adjuncts seem to be “forms of the adjective”. In Arabic, manner adjuncts are
not derived from adjectives, they are inflected nouns in the accusative case. Again, there
seem to be no reasons to declare that a change of lexical category has taken place. An
attempt will therefore be made in the following to avoid reference to lexical categories.
It has been proposed to motivate the distinction with degrees of generality, inflection
being thought of as being more general with regard to its input than derivation (Scalise
1988:563, 1994:235, Booij 2000:363f). And, regarding It. –mente, it has been shown that
its generality is not absolute (Scalise 1990, Scalise et al. 1990). But a lack of generality
can also be shown for inflection –there are not only inflectional classes, inflectional
irregularity and suppletion, but also semantically and pragmatically motivated constraints
on number (It. sodio - ?sodi „sodium‟), gender (It. ?incinto – incinta „pregnant‟) and
morphological comparison (Germ. achteckig -?achteckiger „octagonal‟). And, what is more,
a distinction made on the basis of degrees of generality is not clear-cut by its very
definition. I will rather try to examine the problem from a different point of view, namely
from the question of what the various morphological processes do to their input.
I will try to answer that question under the assumption of to parallel levels of
representation: the functional level and the level of constituency. At the functional level,
morphological structure is represented by feature configurations; at the level of
constituency, there are strings of phonological segments, as well as hierarchical and
precedence relationships holding between these strings.
In the following, I will first try to reformulate the traditional concepts of inflection and
derivation in terms of the two-level with respect to prototypical cases, then pass on to
facts which give the distinction a fuzzy flavor, and then return to It. -mente-derivation.
Prototypical processes of inflection can be characterized as follows. At the functional level
of representation, they add case, number, gender, person, tense, aspect and mood to the
functional structure of lexical words, but leave unchanged their predicates, their argument
structure, and their lexically given gender. At the level of constituency, they complete
lexical words in such a way that they become syntactic words, i.e., are accepted by
syntax. Moreover, they establish constraints on occurrence. Thus in Latin, case constrains
the grammatical functions which a given syntactic word can realize, and supports
agreement relationships. The inventories of words (the “word-forms”) defined by inflection
may be grouped into paradigms, organized according to the inflectional features.
Prototypical processes of derivation, at the functional level, derive predicates from
predicates. They modify argument structures and linking properties. At the level of
constituency, they resemble inflectional processes inasmuch as they also modify
constraints on occurrence. But they do so with respect to a different domain of
relationships. Whereas inflectional processes create constraints on grammatical functions,
government and agreement, derivational processes change constraints on the role which
words can play in the constitution of syntactic phrases. (I use this formulation in order to
avoid the notion of lexical category.) They may determine the lexical gender (It.
suffixation with -mento derives masculine nouns) and have an incidence on number
(suffixation with -ame derives mass-nouns, which as such, have no plural). They do not
create syntactic words. Negatively speaking, prototypical processes of derivation do not
derive syntactic words, and most of their output does not offer itself for being organized
into paradigms.
So far our reconstruction of the distinction between inflectional and derivational
morphology. But there are facts liable to blur the picture.
Inflectional morphology may have an incidence on predicates. Thus, semantic clashes
between a predicate and an inflectional feature may trigger semantic accommodation. One
example are stative verbs, when they are given a perfective tense feature (cf. from It.
sapere „to know‟, sapevo „I knew‟ vs. seppi „I got to know‟); a second example are mass
nouns, when they are put into the plural (cf. It. birra „beer‟ - birre „beers). Furthermore,
inflectional affixes may convey a modification of the predicate. This holds for the It. plural-
suffix -a, which derives collectives from individuals and changes the gender from
masculine to feminine (cf. It. osso „bone‟ with the plurals degli ossi „(disparate) bones‟ vs.
le ossa „the bones (of a body)‟. On the other hand, derivational morphology may create
syntactic words. Thus the output of suffixation with -ità consists of syntactic words with an
unspecified number feature. Facts like these prepare us for what the examination of -
mente-suffixation will show. The facts are the following:
If -mente-suffixation is a derivational process, the question arises of whether it triggers a
change of semantic structure. Presumably it does not change the conceptual aspect of the
base predicate, but it might change its argument structure. The meanings of the bases
may be considered as one-place predicates referring to several kinds of properties, such
as, e.g., degrees of strength, intensity and speed. The meanings of the output words, in
the case of manner adverbs such as lentamente „slowly‟, are not one-place predicates, but
higher order predicates. And in the case of sentence adverbs, such as frequentemente
„frequently‟, their argument, from a participant in a state of affairs, has been tur ned into
an event variable. But this semantic variation may be analogous to a variation of the
bases, depending on the semantic consequences of adnominal vs. predicative use. In this
case, -mente-suffixation would be on the side of inflection.
Moreover, the words defined by -mente-suffixation are syntactic words, another fact which
does not match with the prototypical picture of derivation.
As a conclusion, it can be claimed that -mente-suffixation is a borderline case. In a model
of grammar which implies a principled separation of inflectional and derivational
morphology, processes like -mente-suffixation can only arbitrarily be located within the
grammatical architecture. This is one of the reasons to prefer models which do not imply
that a priori separation.

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Scalise, Sergio. 1990. “Constraints on the Italian suffix –mente”. In: Wolfgang Dressler et
   al. (eds.). Contemporary Morphology. Berlin – New York: Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 87-98.
Scalise, Sergio. et al. 1994 “Il suffisso *mente”. In: Studi di linguistica teorica ed applicata.
Scalise, Sergio. 1994. Morfologia. Il Mulino.
Scalise, Sergio. 1995. “La formazione delle parole”. In: Lorenzo Renzi, Giampaolo Salvi e
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Schwarze, Christoph. 1995. Grammatik der italienischen Sprache. 2., verbesserte Auflage.
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Stump, Gregory T. 1998. “Inflection“. In: Andrew Spencer & Arnold M. Zwicky (eds.) The
   Handbook of Morphology. Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 13-43.

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