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Morphology as an adaptive discriminative system

The first part of this volume summarizes some of the types of interdependencies found in morphological systems and reviews traditional arguments that these patterns are implicational rather than derivational in nature. The second part contrasts realizational and implicational perspectives and outlines strategies for representing implicational patterns in terms of standard information-theoretic measures. Many of the specific proposals remain tobe worked out in greater detail, and only part of the space of alternatives can be surveyed here. Nevertheless, the overall perspective appears promising, both on its own terms, and as a reconceptualization of the classical WP model.

With the development of approaches that can model the organizational principles that facilitate the prediction of a full system from a subset of forms, it becomes possible to address deeper questions about the source of morphological patterns and the mechanisms that determine them. The final chapter of this volume explores a number of these issues, including the status of regular and irregular formations, the role of probabilistic patterns, the treatment of meaning, and implications of typological variation for morphological models.

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