PolySynthesis 6.0 -- bicentennial edition

Zúñiga, Fernando (30 May 2013). PolySynthesis 6.0 -- bicentennial edition (Unpublished). In: Transalpine Typology Meeting. Zürich. 30.05.13.

Even 197 years after its introduction, the notion of polysynthesis remains one of the most intriguing and controversial tools in the (morphological) typologist's toolbox. Several --occasionally contradictory--definitions have been proposed, employed for various purposes, and debated to this very day, but neither practitioners nor theoreticians have reached a comfortable level of consensus regarding its most effective and efficient form yet. The present talk maps the evolution of the notion, discusses its usefulness, and contends that the tool can be made better by updating it minimally with respect to its form and substantially with respect to its conceptual foundations. The former aspect of the update consists of making the notion more precise via explicit qualification; the latter bears relation to our arguably problematic understanding of the pairs lexical vs. grammatical and word vs. clause.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of Linguistics

UniBE Contributor:

Zúñiga, Fernando


400 Language > 410 Linguistics
400 Language > 490 Other languages


[149] Islands in an ocean of (poly)synthesis and concatenative morphology. What linguistic theory and typology can learn from selected Amerindian languages Official URL




Fernando Zúñiga

Date Deposited:

02 Apr 2014 17:26

Last Modified:

02 Apr 2014 17:26



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