Paradigm Structure in French Verbal Inflection

  • Fatima-Zahra El Fenne Mohammed-V University in Rabat


Verb inflectional morphology in French exhibits a range of complexities both in the structure of verb stems (stem-final latent consonant; vowel variation; stem-final nasal vowel ; suppletive forms ; etc.) and the organization of the inflectional system, marked for five grammatical categories: tense, aspect, mode, person and number, which in the majority of cases cannot be identified as a morphological or phonological unit. The main objective of this paper is to show that these morphosyntactic properties should be analyzed as a global affix, which operate within the same space, with no fixed order. This strategy has the advantage to 1) take into account all the verb syntactic properties, 2) avoid multiple zero suffixes, 3) avoid the use of different analyses depending on the verb class, 4) avoid non-productive and phonologically unmotivated rules of insertion of theme vowels as in [dorm-i-r-ons] dormirons, and epenthetic consonants as in [ku-d-r-ons] coudrons, 5) account for French verb inflectional system in a simple and more explanatory way than strictly segmental analyses without "motivated" processes, using massive suppletion and/or stems dependencies, where inflected verbal forms are related by arbitrary implicational associations or quantitative measures based on extensive memorization. This analysis also has the property of explaining by means of a very general principle (the Onset principle) the realization of a stem-final FC in front of the affixes 'ions' and 'iez' as in before any suffix beginning with an empty onset. The verb inflectional paradigmatic structures is captured within Construction Morphology (CxM) as stated in Booij, 2010.


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Como Citar
El Fenne, F.-Z. (2020). Paradigm Structure in French Verbal Inflection. Scripta, 24(51), 103-135.