French and Italian | Introduction to French Morphology
F579 | 26294 | Auger, Julie

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.