Apology of the Lexicon

  • Mário A. Perini


The very high degree of complexity of the structure of languages becomes evident when one engages in extensive surveys of their structure. In spite of including a very important regular component, languages are very irregular in many of their aspects; this is shown for instance by the numerical importance of idioms and other fixed expressions both in the lexicon and in texts, and in the great variety of valencies exhibited by verbs and other items. Above all, the high incidence of idiosyncrasy in the system must be taken into account. All these kinds of phenomena are treated in the lexicon, since they are often conditioned by individual lexical items, and are only liable to generalization in limited ways. The complex interplay between grammatical and cognitive factors shows especially in the structure of the NP, which is examined here in some detail.


Complexity Constituent structure Lexicon NP head 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mário A. Perini
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil

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