The lexeme in descriptive and theoretical morphology

Olivier Bonami   Gilles Boyé   Georgette Dal   Hélène Giraudo   Fiammetta Namer  


After being dominant during about a century since its invention by Baudouin de Courtenay at the end of the nineteenth century, morpheme is more and more replaced by lexeme in contemporary descriptive and theoretical morphology. 

The notion of a lexeme is usually associated with the work of P. H. Matthews (1972, 1974), who characterizes it as a lexical entity abstracting over individual inflected words. Over the last three decades, the lexeme has become a cornerstone of much work in both inflectional morphology and word formation (or, as it is increasingly been called, lexeme formation). The papers in the present volume take stock of the descriptive and theoretical usefulness of the lexeme, but also adress many of the challenges met by classical lexeme-based theories of morphology.


  • Introduction
    Olivier Bonami, Gilles Boyé, Georgette Dal, Hélène Giraudo, Fiammetta Namer
  • Morphology and words: A memoir
    Mark Aronoff
  • Lexemes, Categories and Paradigms: what about cardinals?
    Gilles Boyé
  • Word formation and word history: the case of CAPITALIST and CAPITALISM
    Franz Rainer
  • Nom et/ou adjectif ? Quelle catégorie d’output pour les suffixés en -iste ?
    Delphine Tribout, Dany Amiot
  • Les adverbes en -ment du français : lexèmes ou formes d’adjectifs ?
    Georgette Dal
  • Des lexèmes à forme unique: comment le créole réanalyse les dérivations du français
    Florence Villoing, Maxime Deglas
  • Some remarks on clipping of deverbal nouns in French and Italian
    Pavel Štichauer
  • Lexeme and flexeme in a formal theory of grammar
    Olivier Bonami, Berthold Crysmann
  • The morphology of essence predicates in Chatino
    Hilaria Cruz, Gregory Stump
  • Why traces of the feminine survive where they do, in Oslo and Istria: How to circumvent some ‘troubles with lexemes’
    Hans-Olav Enger
  • The Haitian Creole copula and types of predication: a Word-and-Pattern account
    Alain Kihm
  • On Lexical Entries and Lexical Representations
    Andrew Spencer
  • Troubles with flexemes
    Anna M. Thornton
  • Reduplication across boundaries: The case of Mandarin
    Chiara Melloni, Bianca Basciano
  • La parasynthèse à travers les modèles : des RCL au ParaDis
    Nabil Hathout, Fiammetta Namer
  • Much ado about morphemes
    Hélène Giraudo
  • Les affixes dérivationnels ont-ils des allomorphes ? Pour une modélisation de la variation des exposants dans une morphologie à contraintes
    Fabio Montermini
  • A frame-semantic approach to in affixation
    Ingo Plag, Marios Andreou, Lea Kawaletz
  • Word formation in LFG-based Layered Morphology and Two-Level Semantics
    Christoph Schwarze
  • Lexeme equivalence or rivalry of lexemes?
    Jana Strnadová



Olivier Bonami, Université Paris Diderot

Olivier Bonami is Professor of Linguistics at Université Paris Diderot and Chair of the research unit "Laboratoire de linguistique formelle" (UMR7110 - Université Paris Diderot & CNRS). His recent research adresses a variety of issues in morphology and its interface with phonology and syntax, including inflectional classification, implicative relations, the typology of exponence, periphrasis, and paradigmatic relations in derivational morphology. His work combines formal grammar (Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Paradigm Function Morphology, Information-based Morphology) and quantitative modeling of morphological systems, and applies these methods to data from typologically diverse languages.

Gilles Boyé

Gilles Boyé is Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Université Bordeaux Montaigne and a member of the research unit "Cognition Langues Langage Ergonomie" (UMR5263 - Université de Toulouse & CNRS). He has worked extensively on the structure and morphophonology of the French inflection system. His recent research focuses on computational approaches to the description and modeling of paradigms and other morphological families.

Georgette Dal, Université de Lille

Georgette Dal is Professor of Linguistics at Université de Lille and member of the research unit "Savoirs, Textes, Langage" (UMR 8163 - Université de Lille & CNRS). Her research mainly deals with the use of real data in derivational morphology. Recurrent objects are productivity, creativity and emergence of new morphological patterns.

Hélène Giraudo, CNRS (Toulouse)

Hélène Giraudo is a CNRS Researcher in Psycholinguistics and Chair of the research unit "Cognition Langues Langage Ergonomie" (UMR5263 - Université de Toulouse & CNRS). Her research focuses on the cognitive processes underlying morphological processing and adresses issues related to lexical access and the mental lexicon, the role of morphology in language acquisition, reading acquisition and bilingualism. Her work aims to model the structure and the functioning of the mental lexicon and is broadly influenced by the notion of salience in linguistics, the lexeme-based theory and the theoretical Construction Morphology framework.

Fiammetta Namer, Université de Lorraine

Fiammetta Namer is Professor of Linguistics at Université de Lorraine and member of the research unit "Analyse et Traitement Automatisé de la Langue Française" (UMR 7118 - Université de Lorraine & CNRS). Her research focuses on Word Formation in French, and covers the fields of description, theory and Natural Language Processing. It includes the study of real data from the Internet, the question of the role of paradigms in derivation with particular attention to the issue of meaning-form asymetry, and the acquisition of large-scale derivational resources for French.


February 19, 2018
LaTeX source on GitHub
Cite as
Bonami, Olivier, Boyé, Gilles, Dal, Georgette, Giraudo, Hélène & Namer, Fiammetta (eds.). 2018. The lexeme in descriptive and theoretical morphology. (Empirically Oriented Theoretical Morphology and Syntax 4). Berlin: Language Science Press. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1402520


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