Clippers 10/26: Sara Court on Maltese Plural Inflection Class Structure

Modeling Plural Inflection Class Structure in Maltese

Theoretical and typological research in morphology define an inflectional paradigm as the collection of related word forms associated with a given lexeme. When multiple lexemes share the same paradigm, they in turn define an inflection class. Recent work in morphology uses information theory to quantify the complexity of a language’s inflectional system in terms of interpredictability across word forms and paradigms. These studies provide precise synchronic descriptions of inflectional structure, but are unable to account for how or why these systems emerge in language-specific ways. I’ll be presenting on ongoing research for my QP1 that addresses this question by modeling the relative influence of three factors – phonological form, semantic meaning, and etymological origin – on the organization of plural inflection classes in Maltese.