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Introduction

Introduction Neil Bermel University of Sheffield Dunstan Brown University of York 1. Background to the thematic issue Overabundance and defectivity appear to be opposing tendencies within morphology. The former involves multiple forms for the same cell in a paradigm (Thornton 2019a), while for the latter there appears to be no viable option for a paradigm cell (Baerman & Corbett 2010; Sims 2015: 26–28). However, our starting point is the observation that descriptions of overabundance and defectivity rely on similar operational definitions, suggesting inter alia that competing analogical processes, evidence of multiple potential and actual forms, and a cluster of reaction types that could be labelled uncertainty characterise both phenomena. That is why this special edition is devoted to the joint study of overabundance and defectivity. 2. The language scope of the project Both overabundance and defectivity are found cross-linguistically. In English, with its relatively impoverished inflectional morphology, overabundance is typically studied as an issue in historical change (see e.g. Denison 2003: 56); the movement of verbs between the ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ patterns has been a focus of enquiry, typically framed as a change in progress from the strong to the weak conjugation in which, at certain times, overabundance is found http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png WORD Structure Edinburgh University Press

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
1750-1245
eISSN
1755-2036
DOI
10.3366/word.2023.0226
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Neil Bermel University of Sheffield Dunstan Brown University of York 1. Background to the thematic issue Overabundance and defectivity appear to be opposing tendencies within morphology. The former involves multiple forms for the same cell in a paradigm (Thornton 2019a), while for the latter there appears to be no viable option for a paradigm cell (Baerman & Corbett 2010; Sims 2015: 26–28). However, our starting point is the observation that descriptions of overabundance and defectivity rely on similar operational definitions, suggesting inter alia that competing analogical processes, evidence of multiple potential and actual forms, and a cluster of reaction types that could be labelled uncertainty characterise both phenomena. That is why this special edition is devoted to the joint study of overabundance and defectivity. 2. The language scope of the project Both overabundance and defectivity are found cross-linguistically. In English, with its relatively impoverished inflectional morphology, overabundance is typically studied as an issue in historical change (see e.g. Denison 2003: 56); the movement of verbs between the ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ patterns has been a focus of enquiry, typically framed as a change in progress from the strong to the weak conjugation in which, at certain times, overabundance is found

Journal

WORD StructureEdinburgh University Press

Published: Nov 1, 2023

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