Microcosmos: the Circassian Verb

(1994, a) Microcosmos: the Circassian Verb, in Howard I. Aronson (ed.), Non-Slavic Languages of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltic Republics, Linguistic Studies, Second Series, vol. 2, University of Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society, pp. 15-54.

1. Introductory Remarks
The Circassian verb rivals the sentence in expressive power, apparently by making extensive use of a "syntactical" morphology that reflects both deep and surface syntactic structure. This verb is of great interest to the contemporary linguistic theorist because it tells them what sort of information morphology must handle. To render such a grammatical marvel comprehensible to the reader it will be necessary to have a brief theoretical preamble. I have adopted autolexical syntax (Sadock 1991) in spirit without necessarily adhering to generalised phrase structure grammar (Sadock's preference) in technique. Autolexical syntax ('autolexical grammar' would be better) is a simple and yet powerful theory in which various grammatical components work in parallel, subject to simple constraints, to parse a given string in a variety of ways simultaneously. Thus a string's components have at one and the same time distinct linguistic significance, much as a note of music may enter simultaneously into melodic and harmonic structures.

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