French and Italian | French Morphology
F678 | 25740 | Prof. Julie Auger


Morphology is the study of word structure. In this course, which
introduces morphology from the perspective of the structure of
French, we will be concerned both with basic questions that must be
answered in any theory (such as the elusive definitions of
morpheme and word ) and with the various approaches to
morphology taken within Generative Linguistics in the last 25 years.
Among the questions particular to French that we will investigate
are the structure of verb endings and the role of the paradigm
(inflectional morphology), the status of the feminine desinence
(inflection & derivation), the building up of words from roots and
suffixes or prefixes (derivation, e.g. emploi+eur), the
process of compounding (e.g. la porte-parole, le cessez-le-
feu), the role of clitics (e.g. me, y) in the grammar,
and the "grammaticalization" of certain lexical forms over time.
Because issues in generative morphology interact so crucially with
both syntactic and phonological theory, the course affords an
opportunity for students to solidify their understanding of
generative theory as a whole.