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Inheritance and Inflectional Morphology

Old High German, Latin, Early New High German, and Koine Greek

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MaryEllen A. LeBlanc

Inheritance, which has its origins in the field of artificial intelligence, is a framework focusing on shared properties. When applied to inflectional morphology, it enables useful generalizations within and across paradigms. The inheritance tree format serves as an alternative to traditional paradigms and provides a visual representation of the structure of the language’s morphology. This mapping also enables cross-linguistic morphological comparison.
In this book, the nominal inflectional morphology of Old High German, Latin, Early New High German, and Koine Greek are analyzed using inheritance trees. Morphological data is drawn from parallel texts in each language; the trees may be used as a translation aid to readers of the source texts as an accompaniment to or substitute for traditional paradigms. The trees shed light on the structural similarities and differences among the four languages.
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References

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Extract

Blevins, James P. 1995. Syncretism and paradigmatic opposition. Linguistics and Philosophy 18.113–52.

Brachman, Ronald J. “I lied about the trees” or, Defaults and definitions in knowledge representation. AI Magazine 6.80–93.

Braune, Wilhelm. 1994. Althochdeutsches Lesebuch. 17th ed., ed. by Ernst A. Ebbinghaus. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer.

Braune, Wilhelm. 2004. Althochdeutsche Grammatik I. 15th ed., ed. by Ingo Reiffenstein. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer.

Buck, Carl Darling. 1933. Comparative grammar of Greek and Latin. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

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