Chapter 1: Principal parts


We regard the complexity of an inflection-class system as the extent to which it inhibits motivated inferences about a lexeme's full paradigm of forms from subsets of those forms. Because principal parts are a crystallization of the implicative relations among different cells in a lexeme's paradigm, they are a good starting point for an examination of inflection-class systems' complexity. In this chapter, we consider principal parts both in their traditional pedagogical function and in the broader context of linguistic theory and typology. We expound some preliminary assumptions about the nature of principal parts and implicative relations.