Morphology in the Muskogean languages
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The indigenous languages of the Americas exemplify a number of uncommon typological patterns, especially in their morphology. Here, that rich morphology is illustrated via the Muskogean languages of the southeastern United States. Muskogean languages are agglutinative, but even more interesting and uncommon patterns emerge in an analysis of their morphology. These include subtractive morphology, suppletion, infixation, ablaut, and the use of suprasegmentals. These morphological patterns present considerable complexity. Inflected verbs in narratives and conversation often reflect more than one of the morphological processes. This morphological complexity also demonstrates characteristics of being nonlinear, of being prosodic yet not aligning with neat prosodic boundaries, of not having direct correspondence between grammatical categories and surface segments or suprasegmentals, or having more than one of those characteristics. Six of the seven Muskogean languages are still currently spoken by fluent first language speakers, and many of the tribal nations who represent these languages are involved in ongoing documentation and revitalization efforts, often in partnership with linguists. Thus, despite their highly endangered status, excellent existing documentation and new questions in research create an opportunity to collect even more intricate inflected forms that will enrich models of morphology and morphological theory while having broader impacts, like supporting tribal language revitalization.
National Science Foundation NSF. Grant Number: BCS‐1263939 NSF. Grant Number: BCS‐1263699
RightsAttribution 4.0 International
CitationColleen Fitzgerald. "Morphology in the Muskogean Languages," Language and Linguistics Compass, v.10, 2016, p. 681. doi:10.1111/lnc3.12227
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