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Seminar: Multiple exponence and morphological redundancy, Matthew Carroll, 26 June

Date: 31 May 2019

Seminar: Multiple exponence and morphological redundancy

Speaker: Matthew Carroll

When: 26 June 2019 (TBC), 11am-12.30pm

Where: BPB E4.44 Seminar Room Level 4, Baldessin Building , ANU


Multiple exponence is typically defined as the redundant multiple marking of categories within a single word. Multiple exponence is an uncommon but well attested phenomena, yet the existence of stable redundancy is a problem for models of language evolution: a morphological formative free from the selective pressure of encoding a category should find itself re-purposed by evolutionary processes. Despite this, there has been little work directly examining the problem of multiple exponence from the perspective of redundancy. 

Based on a discussion of cross-linguistic variation, I show that the empirical domain of redundancy in multiple exponence is complex with cases of multiple exponence displaying gradient levels of redundancy. To capture this, I propose a typology of redundancy in multiple exponence based on two distinct parameters of redundancy each of which divide into logical parallel types. I demonstrate that the organisation of these types correspond to the logic of set relations. This informs a novel model-theoretic approach to describing the typological space encoded in the formal calculus of set theory. I demonstrate how such an approach allows for explicit definitions of the typological space along with formulas for quantifiable measurement of redundancy along the two parameters established in the typology. This is paper constitutes a necessary first step to the study of the issue of redundancy in language; providing both a meta-language for the explicit description of redundancy and a principled means for measuring it.

  • Australian Government
  • The University of Queensland
  • Australian National University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Western Sydney University