Soutenance HDR : Karen De Clercq

Date : 17 mai 2024
Lieu : Université Paris Cité, Bâtiment ODG, salle 153

Karen De Clercq (LLF)
Form-meaning mismatches in Nanosyntax

In this study, I reflect on my work of the past ten years from the point of view of the mismatches between form and meaning that are so dominantly present in many of the data that I studied. More specifically, I consider cases of syncretism and fusion from the domains of degree morphology, negation and derivational morphology as illustrations of a mismatch in which one form has several meanings. The study also looks at cases of doubling  and multiple exponence, which are examples of the opposite type of non-correspondence, in which several forms produce a single meaning. It is explained how two tools of Nanosyntax (Starke 2009, Caha 2009), namely the decomposition of a morpheme into its meaningful subcomponents and phrasal lexicalisation, can be used to explain the data. By means of these two tools, one-to-many and many-to-one form-meaning mismatches can be understood as an epiphenomenon of the fact that lexical items are stored in the lexicon as hierarchically organised feature structures. Furthermore, the study shows how zero-to-one and one-to-zero mismatches can also be derived with the same mechanisms.


  • Présidente :  Caterina Donati  (Professeure; Université Paris Cité/ LLF)
  • Rapporteur interne : Olivier Bonami (Professeur; Université Paris Cité/ LLF)
  • Rapporteur externe : Jonathan Bobaljik (Professor; Harvard University)
  • Rapporteure externe : Patricia Cabredo Hofherr (Directrice de Recherche; CNRS, Université Paris 8/ SFL)
  • Examinatrice : Lena Baunaz (Maître de conférence; Université Côte d’Azur/ BCL)