Terje Lohndal

Lexical categories across languages

Terje Lohndal

NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and TechnologyUiT

The Arctic University of Norway

For decades, the division of labor between lexical and functional material has been a pivotal research question. More recently, the question has also been extended into the domain of words and morphemes, including the nature of lexical categories. Several approaches hold that the mental dictionary contains uncategorized roots that have to be categorized syntactically. The root itself does not contain any syntactic features, rather, it acquires properties by virtue of what functional elements appear in the projections above it, including category. In the present talk, we will consider lexical categories from a cross-linguistic perspective. The main question is whether or not lexical categories are decomposed, and if so, are they decomposed in the same way across languages? The talk will present case studies of several languages, including a close comparison of English and Norwegian, and will end up arguing that lexical categories can be construed differently across both categories and languages.

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