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Rules and Exceptions

Using Exceptions for Empirical Research in Theoretical Linguistics


Edited By Christopher Beedham, Warwick Danks and Ether Soselia

This book assembles a collection of papers first presented at the Summer School and Conference on the Method of Lexical Exceptions held at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, 2-8 September 2007, which explored an area of linguistics now referred to as ‘the method of exceptions and their correlations’.
Recognition of the work of Saussure was impeded during his lifetime by the Junggrammatiker (Neogrammarians) and their view of exceptions, but this book incorporates exceptions into a Saussurean approach. Exceptions to rules are treated here not as something wilful and inexplicable, but as a clue to what has gone wrong in the original rule.
The topics covered are the passive, irregular verbs, morphology, transitivity, light verb constructions, resultative verbs, compound nouns, phonology, colour terms, historical-comparative reconstruction, language teaching, Saussurean structuralism and the approach of the Junggrammatiker to exceptions. The languages addressed are English, Arabic, Georgian, Turkish, Russian, the Cushitic languages and German. Grammar and linguistics are usually thought of as purely theoretical disciplines, but this book demonstrates how to use exceptions to conduct ‘experiments’ in the manner of the natural sciences, which leads empirically to better theory.
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6. On Compounds in Georgian of the Type cxenip’aria ‘horse stealer’


← 114 | 115 → MARINA JIKIA

6On Compounds in Georgian of the Type cxenip’aria ‘horse stealer’


In contemporary Georgian there are compounds of the type noun + verbal stem + -ia (suffix). Different specialists interpret these forms in different ways: the second component, i.e. the verbal stem, semantically approximates to the active participle; the second component is represented by the imperative; the direct object is expressed by the noun, and the second component is a participle which is based on the aorist and has lost its prefix; it consists of a participle with a direct object and an infinitive with the suffix -a; the verbal components of these forms are based on the stems of infinitives – they express the ‘possession’ of the action denoted by the infinitives; the verbal components function as participles, confirmed by the existence of the parallel forms as well, although these forms differ in stylistic nuances. The forms with -ia express a state and denote some property as the result of subsequent reinterpretation. The case of the nominal components of these compounds is also differently interpreted – nominative, genitive, and adverbial cases are often mentioned, although the genitive is considered more acceptable.

In our opinion these forms are extended morphosyntaxemes, which seem to be equivalent to compressed sentences. It is the model of the simple non-expanded sentence in which the agent is expressed by the suffix -ia and the whole compound represents an agent. Predicate is the verbal constituent, which...

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