Jochen Trommer (Leipzig) will be here this afternoon (3:30pm in the Greenberg room, to be precise) to give a colloquium. The talk is entitled “Simultaneous learning of affix meaning and segmentation” and is based on joint work with Sebastian Bank. Immediately following the colloquium will be a social, so come on out for both!
Every formal description of inflectional systems faces two intertwined analytical problems, the Subsegmentation Problem and the Meaning Assignment Problem. Thus the formal interpretation of the German present singular verb paradigm (e.g. for legen, ‘to put’: 1sg leg-e, 2sg leg-st and 3sg leg-t) depends on the meaning assigned to the involved inflectional suffix(es), but meaning assignment itself presupposes specific decisions on the subsegmentation of affix material: If -st is analyzed as an atomic suffix (e.g., Wunderlich & Fabri 2006), there are three markers -e [+1], -st [+2], -t [+3], but if -st is subanalyzed into -s and -t as in Müller (2006), -t can be assigned the more general interpretation [-1] (with the additional markers -e +1 and -s, [+2]).
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