Syntactic-Morphological Discrepancies in Maltese Sentence Structure

  • Bernard Comrie
Part of the Studies in Language book series (STUDLANG)

Abstract

One area of considerable controversy in current linguistic theory and descriptive practice is the relationship between morphology and syntax, the central problem being as follows: does the morphology of a language reflect the structure of the language, i.e. is there a single function for each morphological opposition in the language, or is it possible for there to be discrepancies between form and function, such that a single morphological form would serve a variety of different functions? Transformational-generative grammar has typically emphasized discrepancies between form and function, concentrating for instance on areas where superficially similar constructions can be assigned radically different underlying representations, or where superficially quite distinct constructions can be assigned essentially the same underlying representation. Perhaps in part as a reaction against this, the doctrine ‘one form — one function’, an extreme version of the view that morphology does provide a direct insight into language structure, has become quite popular.

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Copyright information

© Communication and Cognition 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernard Comrie
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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