The tension between “combinatorial” and “class-default” regularity

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (6):1017-1018 (1999)
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Clahsen shows that “combinatorial” inflection is processed differently from “irregular” inflection. However, combinatorially regular affixes need not coincide with “class-default” affixes, that is, affixes shared by more than one inflection class and all of whose rivals are peculiar to one class. This creates a tension that may help to explain the persistence of inflection class systems.



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