Lexical categories in Distributed Morphology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Distributed Morphology (DM) accounts for native speakers’ knowledge about the word classes of their language using categorially underspecified roots that get categorized in syntactic contexts. This chapter discusses arguments that have been given for roots without category, and presents a new one. The DM view on lexical categories raises questions about the locus of categorial information. If the categorial information is not located in the roots, then where does it come from? This leads to a discussion of the position of derivational affixes for which different proposals are on offer. The chapter focuses on a phonological restriction on word-class membership in Dutch which allows native speakers to judge whether a particular form in isolation is a verb or a noun. The theory offers enough room to accommodate such facts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Word Classes
EditorsEva van Lier
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780191887185
ISBN (Print)9780198852889
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2023


  • word-class, distributed morphology, lexicale categories


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