Linguistics 205:  Morphology

as taught by

Bruce Hayes, Dept. of Linguistics, UCLA

Spring Quarter 2011                                                                        


Priscian and Grammar

a medieval rendering of Priscian, an early expositor of inflectional bases,
in conversation with Grammar

Syllabus (pdf format)

Problem sets and readings

A guide to writing up problem sets (from my Linguistics 201)

Week 1

Class 1, 3/29/11

Read Chapter 1 of the Booij text, and Gregory Stump (1998) "Inflection", from Spencer and Zwicky, eds., The Handbook of Morphology. Oxford: Blackwell.

Class 2, 3/31/11

For Tuesday, 4/5, read (a) the Booij text, chapter 5.  (b) Stephen Anderson (1982) "Where's morphology?" Linguistic Inquiry 13:571-612.  Write a less-than-one-page summary of the Anderson article.

For Thursday, 4/12, do the Kharia homework.

Week 2

Class 3, 4/5/11

(Kharia homework due Tuesday 4/12.)

For Thursday, read (a) the Booij text, chapter 6.  (b) Gregory Stump (1993) Position classes in morphological theory. In G. Booij and J. van Marle, eds., Yearbook of Morphology 1992 (Kluwer), 129-180.  Write a less-than-one-page summary.

Class 4, 4/7/11

(Kharia problem is due Tuesday 4/12)

For Thursday 4/14, read Ryan, Kevin M. 2010. Variable affix order: grammar and learning. Language 86: 758-791.  Write a less-than-one-page summary.

Week 3

Class 5, 4/12/11

For Thursday 4/14:  Read: Larry Hyman (2002) Suffix ordering in Bantu: a morphocentric approach. Yearbook of Morphology, 245-281.

For Tuesday, 4/19/11, do the Zoque problem handed out in class.

Class 6, 4/14/11

(no additional assignments)

Week 4

Class 7, 4/19/11

For Thursday,  4/21, read the Booij text, chapter 7, "The interface between morphology and phonology".

The reading that comes next is demanding and you might want to start earlier:  Rolf Noyer (2001) Clitic sequences in Nungubuyu and PF convergence.  Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 19: 751–826.

Week 5

Class 9, 4/26/11

For Thursday 4/28:  finish reading the Noyer article on Nunggubuyu (posted above) and provide a less-than-one-page summary.

Here is the chapter from Heath's reference grammar on which Noyer relies.

For Tuesday, 5/3:   Read Adam Albright (2010) Base-driven leveling in Yiddish verb paradigms. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 28: 475-537 and provide a less-than-one-page summary.

Class 10, 4/28/11

No new assignments

Week 6

Class 11, 5/3/11

Read Chapters 6 and 11 of the Booij textbook.

Read Chapter 10 of Peter Matthews's (1991) Inflectional Morphology.  

Class 12, 5/5/11

For Tuesday, 5/10:   read Adam Albright and Bruce Hayes (2003) Rules vs. analogy in English past tenses: A computational/experimental study. Cognition 90, pp. 119-161 and provide a less-than-one-page summary.

For Tuesday 5/17:  Homework #3:  learning bases with the Minimal Generalization Learner.  This zipped file has everything you need (problem set text, the program itself, the data files).

Week 7

Class 13, 5/10/11

For Thursday, 5/12:  Read Booij textbook, Chapters 3 and 10.

For Tuesday, 5/17:  Homework #3 (above) will be due.

For Thursday 5/19:  Read Jen Hay and Harald Baayen (2002) Parsing and productivity, published in Yearbook of Morphology; and write a less-than-one-page summary.

Class 14, 5/12/11

No further assignments

Week 8

Class 15, 5/17/11

For Thursday 5/19:  Hay/Baayen reading and summary.

For Tuesday, 5/24:  read Marco Baroni (2002) Distribution-driven morpheme discovery: A computational/experimental study, published in Yearbook of Morphology; and write a less-than-one-page summary.

Class 16, 5/19/11

No further assignments

Week 9

Class 17, 5/24/11

For Tuesday, 5/31: read the Booj text Chapter 8, and also Rosen, Sara Thomas (1989) Two types of noun incorporation: a lexical analysis. Language 65, 294-317. Write a less-than-one-page summary of the latter.

For Thursday, 6/2: read the Booij text Chapter 9 and also Alsina, Alex (1992) On the argument structure of causatives. Linguistic Inquiry 23, 517-555.  Write a less-than-one-page summary of the latter.

Class 18, 5/26/11

No further assignments

Week 10

Classes 19 and 20, 5/31/11 and 6/2/11

No further assignments other than the two reading-and-summary assignments given above.

This week:  give one-member-audience talk on your term paper project.

Finals Week

Term paper due 5:00 on Friday 6/10.

Further reading

Albright, Adam (2005) The morphological basis of paradigm leveling. In Laura Downing, Tracy Alan Hall, Renate Raffelsiefen, eds., Paradigms in Phonological Theory. Oxford University Press.  Albright's single-base theory as applied to the famous Latin honor analogy.

Albright, Adam (2006) The lexical bases of morphological well-formedness.  In Bendjaballah, Dressler, Pfeiffer and Voeikova, Morphology 2000. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.  What statistics should be use to pick the right base?

Baayen, Harald and Robert Schreuder (2000) Towards a psycholinguistic computational model for morphological parsing. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. A 358:1281-1293.  The parsing model used as the base for Hay and Baayen's model of productivity.

Baker, Mark (1985) The Mirror Principle and morphosyntactic explanation. Linguistic Inquiry 16.3: 373-415.  The ur-reference for syntactic mirroring.

Baker, Mark (1988) "Verb incorporation".  Chapter 4 of his Incorporation: A Theory of Grammatical Function Changing.  Chicago:  University of Chicago Press.  Forming lexical causatives by syntactic movement.

Bonami, Olivier and Gilles Boyé (2001) Suppletion and dependency in inflectional morphology. In Proceedings of the 8th International HPSG Conference, Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.  Trees for whole paradigms.

Bybee, Joan (1985) Chapter 2 of her Morphology:  A study of the relation between meaning and form.  Amsterdam:  John Benjamins.  The theory of "relevance" in inflectional morpheme ordering, with 50-language typological survey.

Heath, Jeffrey (1984).  The chapter from his Functional Grammar of Nunggubuyu on which Noyer (2001) is based.

Mintz, Toben H. (2003) Frequent frames as a cue for grammatical categories in child directed speech.  Cognition 90 (2003) 91–117.  Could this method be applied to the learning of inflectional categories in the presence of inflectional classes?

Ryan, Kevin and Russell Schuh (2010). Suffix doubling and suffix deletion in Bole. (Talk handout, but easy to follow).  Analyses Bole affix copying using Ryan's bigram theory.

Sadock, Jerrold M. (1990) from his Autolexical Syntax: A Theory of Parallel Grammatical Relations, University of Chicago Press, Chicago. Chapter 4, "The Nature of Noun Incorporation".  Polysynthesis in its most radical form, with arguments against lexicalist approaches.

Zwicky, Arnold (1985) How to describe inflection. Berkeley Linguistics Society 11 (1985), pp. 372–386.   The ur-source for Rules of Referral.


I. "Linear Order Learner."  Implements Kevin Ryan's system of morphological bigram constraints (fabricates the candidates, constraints, and constraint violations, and puts them into an OTSoft file.).  Runs on Windows only, sorry.

Here is the program (just put it in a folder and click, I believe it should run in Windows without getting installed.)

A sample input file, Swahili.txt.  Put it in your program folder.

To run the program, click on it (LinearOrderLearning.exe), then type "Swahili.txt" in the little program window and click on the "Go" button.  It will create "OTSoftFileForSwahili.txt" which then can be input to OTSoft, which will give you the complete analysis and tableaux.

Please tell me if this software gives you any trouble.

II. Minimal Generalization Learner, Albright and Hayes (2003) and other work

III. Frequent Frame Collector.  Windows only; input file should be plain text and titled "in.txt".  Output file will be plain text.  No installation should be needed, just put it in a folder with your other files.  In the same folder you put the program, put (possibly altered) versions of these three files, used for parsing text into words and phrases:  Letters.txt, Punctuation.txt, IgnoredCharacters.txt.


A spreadsheet, singling out the 22 feature combinations that form legal pronominal categories in Nunggubuyu, from the full set of logical possibilities in the Noyer feature system.

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