Gauvain Schalchli Gilles Boyé

Paradigms and syncretism in derivation: the case of ethnics in French

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Elaborating on the description of Roché (2008)'s paradigmatic economy of French ethnics, we extend his dataset with the inclusion of the inflectional paradigms of all the considered lexemes and the ethnic feminine noun. Using Boyé & Schalchli (2016)'s Optimal Morphomic Paradigm (OMP), we describe the relations of all the inflected forms and the derived lexemes in a context of systematic cross-categorial syncretism. While OMP captures syncretisms between the homophonic forms of the different nouns and adjectives, we argue that these syncretisms do not constitute morphomes because the common forms belong to different lexemes. In this case, we need a different but parallel concept to capture the syncretism of forms between lexemes. We propose to name it lexome. A lexome is a set of forms shared by different lexemes in a derivational paradigm in the same way as a morphome is a form shared by different morphosyntactic cells in an inflectional paradigm.


  • Derivation
  • Paradigm
  • Ethnics
  • French
  • Syncretism


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