UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 12 (2000)

M-selection and phrasal affixation


In this paper we argue that selectional properties of affixes should be distributed across a morphosyntactic AFFIX and a morphophonological /affix/. The AFFIX selects a node with particular categorial features, but it does not specify an X-bar theoretical level. The /affix/ selects a head (or more precisely phonological word), but it does not care about syntactic category. Traditional m-selection (that is, selection of a head of a particular category) can only obtain if the AFFIX corresponds to an /affix/. In other circumstances, the AFFIX may freely attach to a syntactic phrase. This gives some insight into effects of zero affixation, certain types of bracketing paradoxes and so-called ‘mixed categories’.

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