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A-morphous iconicity

Lepic, Ryan; Padden, Carol

A-morphous Morphology is a morpheme-less theory of word-internal structure Anderson 1992. Under this approach, derivational patterns are analyzed using Word Formation (redundancy) Rules. By specifying systematic relations among the words of a language, Word Formation Rules generally describe, rather than derive, the structure of complex words. Here, on the basis of data from American Sign Language, we present a complementary view of lexical iconicity. We suggest that in the discussion of iconicity and of morphological structure alike, a distinction can be made between those signs whose internal structure has been eroded away, and those signs whose motivated internal structure is analyzable as part of a systematic pattern.

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