Chapter 9: Inflection classes, implicative relations and morphological theory


We discuss the following issue in the theoretical domain: How should implicative relations and inflection classes be modeled in a formal theory of morphology? We distinguish between two possible ways of represent- ing a lexeme's IC membership, and orthogonally, between two approaches to the formulation of a language's rules of inflectional realization. Drawing upon these distinctions, we characterize two possible architectures for a formal theory of inflection, each a kind of canonical extreme. We show that neither of these extremes is adequate ­ that a hybrid architecture incorporating characteristics of both approaches is preferable. We propose a hybrid theory of this sort, illustrating with a small but rich fragment of Sanskrit declensional morphology. This chapter is not an analysis of implicative rela- tions per se, but of the position that such relations occupy within the broader formal definition of a language's inflectional morphology.