Anna M. Thornton

Tullio De Mauro and morphology

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The paper discusses Tullio De Mauro's positions in the fields of morphology and lexeme formation, as presented in his "Minisemantica" (1982) and "Linguistica elementare" (1998). De Mauro had essentially an "item and arrangement" view of morphology, and was scarcely interested in inflection and morpho-phonology. He analyzed morphological phenomena with the aim of comparing properties of natural languages to those of other semiotic codes. His main field of interest was lexeme formation: in this area, he defended a view that stressed the unpredictability of possible and impossible formations, and the possibility of creatively violate supposed restrictions on lexeme formation rules; his own practice as a speaker and writer offers several cases of creative coinages that violate existing restrictions.

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