MORPHOLOGY: a hypothesis which says that a word formation rule specifies a
unique phonological operation which is performed on the base. It specifies a unique
syntactic label and subcategorization frame, as well as a unique semantic reading.
EXAMPLE: in English the suffix -er is used to form agent nouns
(worker, player) as well as comparatives (quicker, happier). Given
the differences in syntactic category and meaning, the one-affix-one-rule hypothesis
entails that there are two -er affixation rules. This example seems rather
trivial, but things become less trivial if one knows that -er is also used
to form instrument nouns (hanger, glider) since the circumstances under which
agent nouns and instrument nouns are formed are identical. The one-affix-one-rule
hypothesis says that we have two rules here, but this claim does not explain the
similarities between both rules of -er nominalization.
|LIT.||Scalise, S. (1984)|