Greville Corbet

Professor Greville Corbett


Distinguished Professor of Linguistics
BA, MA, PhD
04 AC 05
SMG Administrator Penny Everson

Biography

Biography

Greville Corbett is a member of the Surrey Morphology Group.

Research interests

My research attempts to bring together the remarkable variation we find across languages with the sense that they are deeply similar. I have three broad areas of interest:

Typology
- For some years I have been developing the Canonical Typology framework, which has expanded beyond its original heartland of morphology and syntax to include work in phonology and sign language (see the Canonical Typology bibliography). - Within the AHRC funded project From competing theories to fieldwork: The challenge of an extreme agreement system I am considering what this extreme agreement system tells us about the general typology of agreement systems. - The AHRC funded Combining Gender and Classifiers in Natural Language tackles the disparate range of phenomena labelled 'classifiers' as well as the somewhat more homogeneous gender systems. Working with Sebastian Fedden, we are developing a canonical approach to these challenging data.

Morphosyntactic features- Number, gender, person and case all offer interesting challenges. Recently I have returned to gender, editing a volume The expression of gender.- With Matthew Baerman, we show that asymmetries in gender marking can have the effect of expressing subject person even in the absence of dedicated person. We see this in Archi and notably in the Tucanoan languages of South America.

Inflectional morphology (especially Network Morphology)
- I led the European Research Council funded project Morphological Complexity, which examined the ways in which morphological structure introduces complexity which has no apparent function outside this component. My resulting research on the typology of splits in paradigms is to appear in Language.- My most recent work is on conditions on inflection, the generalizations which cross-cut the generalizations provided by inflection classes- The ESRC & AHRC funded Endangered complexity: Inflectional classes in Oto-Manguean languages has provided paradigms of remarkable complexity, including unusual types of split paradigms.- I am also concerned with the practical issue of how we represent inflectional material in a transparent and comprehensible way.

For more on my research, publications and presentations please see my academia.edu page: https://surrey.academia.edu/GrevilleGCorbettI am happy to supervise PhD students in the areas listed.

Affiliations

Professional associations and committees

I have been elected to these societies:

Academia Europaea (Member)Academy of Social Sciences (Fellow)British Academy (Fellow)International Grammar Commission of the Congress of SlavistsLinguistic Society of America (Honorary Member)

I am a member of the following academic organisations:

Association for Linguistic TypologyAustralian Linguistic SocietyBritish Association for Slavonic and East European StudiesLinguistics Association of Great BritainPhilological SocietySocietas Linguistica Europaea

News

Media Contacts

Contact the press team

Email:

mediarelations@surrey.ac.uk

Phone: +44 (0)1483 684380 / 688914 / 684378
Out-of-hours: +44 (0)7773 479911
Senate House, University of Surrey
Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH

My publications

Publications

Corbett Greville G. (2018) Pluralia tantum nouns in the Slavonic languages, Proceedings of the XVI International Congress of Slavists

Imenice pluralia tantum su fascinantna pojava, za koju se slavisti interesuju joa od Braunove
teze (1930), pa i ranije. Za to postoji nekoliko razloga. Prvo, mnoge od ovih imenica su
defektne jer, iako su brojive, nemaju jedninu. Drugo, dok defektne imenice obi
no uklju
uju
sporadi
ne praznine u promeni (kao ato je to, po jezi
kom ose?anju mnogih govornika, slu
aj
sa genitivom mno~ine ruske imenice *me
t), klase imenica pluralia tantum
esto su ? bar
delimi
no ? semanti
ki predvidljive (tj. ove imenice su podlo~ne ?uopatavanjima srednje
veli
ine?, Koenig 1999). Me?utim, ova predvidljivost je ograni
ena: up. u ruskom imenicu
binokl ?dvogled?, koja ima standardnu promenu, sa imenicom sani ?sanke?, koja je imenica
plurale tantum. Tre?e, da bi se mogle upotrebiti kao brojive, imenice pluralia tantum
esto
zahtevaju neko dodatno sredstvo, npr. zbirne brojeve. I u opatoj lingvistici postoji stalno
interesovanje za ove imenice (npr. Visnievski 2009). Zato je glavni cilj ovog referata da poka~e
poseban zna
aj podataka iz slovenskih jezika za opatelingvisti
ko ispitivanje imenica pluralia
tantum. Taj zna
aj je dvostruk. Prvo, kod nekih klasa ovih imenica se uo
avaju zanimljive
razlike u razli
itim slovenskim jezicima. I drugo, treba preispitati tvrdnju da je, iz semanti
kih
razloga, prirodno da se predmeti koji se javljaju u paru ozna
avaju imenicama pluralia tantum,
s obzirom da se ovakvi predmeti ozna
avaju imenicama pluralia tantum i u jezicima koji imaju
dual (kao u slovena
kom i gornjem i donjem lu~i
kom). Uz to, u ovim jezicima se imenice
pluralia tantum mogu koristiti za jedan, dva ili viae od dva referenta (kao u donjem lu~i
kom,
Janaa 1976/1984). Dakle, ove imenice zaslu~uju naau stalnu pa~nju bilo da je re
o
razumevanju broja u slovenskim jezicima ili o opatelingvisti
kim aspektima imenica pluralia
tantum.

= = =

Pluralia tantum nouns are indeed fascinating, and Slavists? interest in them goes back to
Braun?s thesis (1930) and earlier. There are several reasons for this. First, many of these nouns
are defective, since they are countable yet they lack a singular. Second, while defectives
typically involve sporadic gaps (as with Russian genitive plural *me
t for many speakers), sets
of pluralia tantum nouns are often semantically predictable, at least in part (they are subject to
?middle-size generalizations?, Koenig 1999). This predictability is limited, however: compare Russian binokl ?binoculars? (which is a normal noun) with sani ?sleigh? a plurale tantum noun.
Third they often require some sort of repair (such as the use of collective numerals) so that they
can be treated as count nouns. Pluralia tantum nouns are of continued interest in the general
linguistic literature (see, for instance, Wisniewski 2009), hence it is timely to consider the
particular interest and contribution of the Slavonic data, the focus of this paper. Two aspects
stand out. First the Slavonic languages provide semantic classes of these nouns, which vary
across the family in interesting ways. And second, the claim for the semantic naturalness of
paired objects being pluralia tantum needs reassessing, given that these nouns are pluralia
tantum even when the dual is available (as in Slovene and Upper and Lower Sorbian. Moreover,
in these languages pluralia tantum nouns can be used for one, two, or more than two referents
(as in Lower Sorbian, Janaa 1976/1984). Thus these nouns deserve our continued attention,
both for Slavonic internal and for general linguistic reasons.

Corbett GG (2010) Features: essential notions, In: Kibort A, Corbett G (eds.), Features: perspectives on a key notion in linguistics 2 pp. 17-36 Oxford University Press
Corbett G (2003) Agreement: canonical instances and the extent of the phenomenon., In: Booij G, DeCesaris J, Ralli A, Scalise S (eds.), Topics in Morphology: Selected papers form the Third mediterranean Morphology Meeting (Barcelona, Sep 20-22, 20001), 109-128. Barcelona: Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Corbett GG, Brown D, Tiberius C (2003) (Eds.) Agreement: A Typological Perspective. Special Issue of Transactions of the Philological Society 101 (2)., Oxford: Blackwell
Special issue of Transactions of the Philological Society 101, no.2
Corbett GG (2008) Determining morphosyntactic feature values: the case of case., In: Corbett G, Noonan M (eds.), Case and Grammatical Relations: Studies in honor of Bernard Comrie Amsterdam: John Benjamins
Evans N, Brown D, Corbett GG (2001) Dalabon pronominal prefixes and the typology of syncretism: a Network Morphology analysis. In: G. Booij and J. van Marle (eds) Yearbook of Morphology 2000, In: Marle GBJV (eds.), Yearbook of Morphology 2000 pp. 187-231 Kluwer
Chumakina M, Corbett GG (2012) Periphrasis. The Role of Syntax and Morphology in Paradigms, Oxford University Press/British Academy
Periphrasis straddles the border between two major linguistic components, morphology and syntax. It describes a situation where a grammatical meaning, such as a tense, which could be expected to be expressed morphologically within a word, is instead expressed by a syntactic phrase. Inclusion of syntactic phrases in morphological paradigms creates analytical and theoretical problems that have yet to be resolved by linguists, who have been hampered by the rather narrow range of data available for consideration and by a lack of adequate theoretical devices. This book addresses the challenge by broadening the range of phenomena under discussion and presenting new theoretical approaches to the problem of periphrasis.

Part I takes four key languages from diverse families - Nakh-Daghestanian, Gunwinyguan (Australian), Uralic and Indo-European - as examples of languages in which periphrasis poses particular problems for current linguistic theories. Part II views periphrasis in different contexts, determining its place within the morphological and syntactic systems of the languages it is found in, its relations to other linguistic phenomena, and the typological variation represented by periphrastic constructions. Treating periphrasis as a morphological and syntactic phenomenon at the same time and applying the criteria worked out within the Canonical Typology approach allows linguists to view periphrasis as a family of phenomena within a typological space of syntactic constructions used to fulfil grammatical functions.

Palmer W, Brown D, Corbett G, Quilliam H (2008) Turning Owners into Actors. Possessive morphology as subject-indexing in the languages of the Bougainville region, Surrey Morphology Group, School of English and Languages, University of Surrey
This is a database that is freely available at The Surrey Morphology Group Website. http://www.smg.surrey.ac.uk/nws/

For more information also visit tp://www.surrey.ac.uk/englishandlanguages/research/smg/index.htm

Hippisley A, Davies IRL, Corbett GG (2008) The basic colour terms of Lower Sorbian and Upper Sorbian and their typological relevance, Studies in Language 32 (1) pp. 56-92 john Benjamins
Berlin & Kay's basic colour term framework claims that there is an ordering in the diachronic development of languages' colour systems. One generalisation is that primary colours, WHITE, BLACK, RED, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE, are lexicalised before derived colours, which are perceptual blends, e.g. ORANGE is the blend of YELLOW and RED. The colour systems of Lower Sorbian and Upper Sorbian offer an important typological contribution. It is already known that primary colour space can contract upon the emergence of a basic derived term; our findings indicate that derived categories also shift as colour systems develop. Tsakhur offers corroborating evidence.
Corbett GG, Fedden S (2016) Canonical Gender, Journal of Linguistics 52 (3) pp. 495-531
Nominal classification remains a fascinating topic but in order to make further progress we need greater clarity of definition and analysis. Taking a Canonical Typology approach, we use canonical gender as an ideal against which we can measure the actual gender systems we find in the languages of the world. Building on previous work on canonical morphosyntactic features, particularly on how they intersect with canonical parts of speech, we establish the distinctiveness of gender, reflected in the Canonical Gender Principle: In a canonical gender system, each noun has a single gender value. We develop three criteria associated with this principle, which together ensure that canonically a noun has exactly one gender value; we give examples of non-canonicity for each criterion, thus gradually building the typology. This is the essential groundwork for a comprehensive typology of nominal classification: the Canonical Typological approach allows us to tease apart clusterings of properties and to characterize individual properties with respect to a canonical ideal, rather than requiring us to treat the entire system as belonging to a single type. This approach is designed to facilitate comparisons of different noun classification systems across languages.
Corbett GG (2006) Features: Germanic and typological aspects,
Corbett GG (2010) Implicational hierarchies, In: Jae Jung Song (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Language Typology pp. 190-205 Oxford University Press
This article provides a discussion on implicational hierarchies. It presents the examples of typological hierarchies and considers in turn syntactic, morphosyntactic, and lexical hierarchies. A well-known syntactic hierarchy is the Accessibility Hierarchy. The Agreement Hierarchy and the Animacy Hierarchy are the two well-established examples of morphosyntactic hierarchy. The Berlin and Kay Hierarchy is a famous typological hierarchy for lexis. Any proposed hierarchy must be justified by the range of data that it explains and the closeness of fit between the data and the claim made. The use of hierarchies for research on individual languages is described. The article finally deals with the extension of hierarchies and the relation of hierarchies to semantic maps.
Corbett GG (2009) Universals and Features, In: Sergio Scalise, Magni E, Bisetto A (eds.), Universals of language today pp. 129-143 Springer
Abstract: Greenberg?s paper on universals (1963) contains an interesting set of generalizations
relating to features. It is a good time to review the issues involved in establishing universals of
features. These verge on the philosophical at one extreme, while at the other they concern the
practical question of how we present and gloss examples. Various initiatives concerned with
standardization, taken broadly, are under way, and it is important that they should be fully
informed by the linguistic issues. There are two main areas to discuss: the Analysis problem
and the Correspondence problem.
The Analysis problem: for a given language, we need to be able to justify the postulation of
any feature (such as number or case). Equally, for each feature in the language we need to be
able to justify the set of values postulated (for example: singular, dual, paucal and plural;
nominative, accusative and genitive). For some languages the analysis is trivially simple, in
others it is exceptionally complex (for some there have been long-running debates). In this
context, it is worth reviewing the work of the Set-theoretical School, given its undoubted
relevance for typology. The difficulties posed by hybrids will be discussed; this leads
naturally to typological hierarchies and the ?Canonical? approach in modern typology.
The Correspondence problem: as typologists we need to be able to justify treating features
and their values as comparable across languages. This is not straightforward, and yet a good
deal of typology, including enterprises such as the World Atlas of Language Structures,
depends upon it. The problem has a second, more subtle version. Even within a single
language, features and their values do not necessarily line up consistently. In Bayso, the
number system of nouns and verbs interact in a complex way. In Romanian, the genders of
nouns and adjectives differ, and there are many more such examples. Here a typological
perspective can inform the analysis of a single language and, of course, a typology which
ignored these languages would be considerably impoverished.
Features are an area where the concerns of the typologist meet those of computational
linguists, formal linguists, fieldworkers, in fact linguists in many different guises. As we put
increasing theoretical weight on features, it is important to review our assumptions and check our progress in understanding them.
Corbett GG (2013) The Expression of Gender, 6 De Gruyter Mouton
Gender is a fascinating category, which has grown steadily in importance across the humanities and social sciences. The book centres on the core of the category within language. Each of the seven contributions provides an independent account of a key part of the topic, ranging from gender and sex, gender and culture, to typology, dialect variation and psycholinguistics. The authors pay attention to a broad range of languages, including English, Chukchi, Konso and Mohawk.
Corbett GG (2009) Politeness as a feature: so important and so rare.,
Politeness has a major place in many languages, and is remarkably pervasive in some. Yet we rarely find respect as a morphosyntactic feature, alongside gender, person, number and case. I document this imbalance, and then ask why this is what we find.

This paper was later published as a section of the book Features (2012). 338 pages. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107661080. http://www.cambridge.org/gb/knowledge/isbn/item6832255/?site_locale=en_…

Also in Linguistik 2012, 51 (1). Available online at: http://www.linguistik-online.de/51_12/corbett_a.html

Corbett GG (2005) Sex-based and Non-sex-based Gender (chapter and map), In: Martin Haspelmath MD (eds.), World Atlas of Language Structures pp. 130-133 Oxford University Press
Corbett GG (2007) Morphosyntactic features: issues in typology and theory,
Corbett GG, Brown DP, Chumakina M (2008) Prolegomena to a typology of periphrasis,
Periphrasis straddles the boundary between syntax and morphology, and so creates analytical and theoretical problems. These concern the nature of the word, the interaction between syntax and morphology, and the possible sizes and shapes of inflectional paradigms. Progress has been hampered because the theoretical devices available have been inadequate and because the range of data considered has been narrow. We are therefore undertaking a typological survey, adopting a ?canonical? approach in which we specify the different dimensions along which concrete instances of periphrasis can be classified as more or less canonical.

Periphrastic constructions are common, yet relatively little is known about their typological range. Following Haspelmath (2000), our canonical approach encompasses not just verbs but also comparable phenomena involving other parts of speech (?analytic? forms in some traditions). Thus we include less familiar examples, such as this one, showing periphrastic expression of number on nouns. We give just two of seven cases:

Nenets ti ?reindeer? (Ackerman 2000:3)
SINGULAR DUAL PLURAL
NOMINATIVE ti tex°h tiq
DATIVE ten°h tex°h nyah tex°q

Number and case are expressed synthetically for most cells of the paradigm, except for certain cells in the dual (represented here by the dative).

We plan a careful examination of four key languages, Archi, Bininj Gun-Wok, Nenets and Sanskrit, each of which has significant and different instances of periphrasis. Based on this survey, we will establish:

" the set of criteria for periphrasis; this is to define the space across which to calibrate any attested periphrastic construction. We shall start from the definitions in Ackerman & Stump (2004: 125-147).
" the typological range of periphrasis, taking into account both the constructions and how they interact with language-specific morphological and syntactic rules
" the diachronic stages that the syntactic phrase goes through on its way to becoming part of the morphological paradigm, and the conditions that permit this.

Periphrasis can be understood in terms of a configuration of properties of canonical inflectional morphology (e.g. obligatoriness) and canonical syntax (e.g. independence of expression), as in our Nenets example. The canonical approach with its inclusive orientation allows us to calibrate and clarify the differing intuitions of typologists, and place periphrasis within the larger space of morphology-syntax interaction.

Acker

Corbett GG (2007) Canonical typology, suppletion and possible words, Language 83 (1) pp. 8-42 Linguistic Society of America

We specify a typology for the extreme of inflectional morphology, namely suppletion (as in go ~ went). This is an unusual enterprise within typology, and it requires a ?canonical? approach. That is, we define the canonical or best instance, through a set of converging criteria, and use this point in theoretical space to locate the various occurring types. Thus the criteria establish the dimensions along which we find the specific instances of suppletion, allowing us to calibrate examples out from the canonical. The criteria fall into two main areas, those internal to the lexeme and those external to it. Moreover, we find interactions with other morphological phenomena, and discuss four of them: syncretism, periphrasis, overdifferentiation and reduplication. These remarkable instances of suppletion, particularly when in interaction with other phenomena, extend the boundary of the notion ?possible word?. Besides laying out the possibilities for the specific phenomenon of suppletion, we show how a canonical approach allows us to make progress in typology, even in the most challenging areas.

Corbett G, Baerman M, Brown D (2001) Domains of syncretism: a demonstration of the autonomy of morphology, In: Andronis M, Ball C, Elston H (eds.), CLS 37: The Panels. Papers from the 37th Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, Vol. 2. pp. 385-398
Corbett GG (2010) Agreement in Slavic, Glossos 10 pp. 1-61
Corbett GG (2015) Hybrid nouns and their complexity, In: Fleischer J, Rieken E, Widmer P (eds.), Agreement from a Diachronic Perspective (Trends in Linguistics Studies and Monographs) 287 pp. 191-214 De Gruyter Mouton
Hybrid nouns, nouns which induce different agreements according to the target, have been described in various languages. The new question is why they exist at all. There is clear evidence that hybrids vary considerably in the agreement they control, even within a single language. It therefore seems logical to align this variability with lexical semantics, and this is convincing for some hybrids. But this motivation is hard to reconcile with the fact that some hybrids are hybrids only for part of their paradigm. These latter instances suggest that the underlying motivation for some hybrids is a form-meaning mismatch.
Corbett GG, Browne W (2003) Serbo-Croatian, In: Fawley WJ (eds.), International Encyclopedia of Linguistics: Second Edition pp. 47-51 Oxford University Press
Evans R, Tiberius C, Brown D, Corbett G (2003) Russian Lemmatisation with DATR,
paper presented at SLOVKO 2003 second international seminar on computer treatment of Slavonic languages. Bratislava, Slovakia 24-5 October 2003
Chumakina M, Brown DP, Quilliam H, Corbett GG (2007) Slovar´ ar
inskogo jazyka (ar
insko-russko-anglijskij) [A dictionary of Archi: Archi-Russian-English],
Delovoj Mir, xxiv + 410 pp.
A Dictionary of the Archi (Daghestanian) Language including word sounds and illustrations.

Archi is spoken by about 1200 people in a remote mountain region in Daghestan. The language is characterised by remarkable phonetics, a very high degree of irregularity in all its inflecting word classes and by its morphological system, with extremely large paradigms. Archi culture is one of the most distinctive and best-preserved cultures of Daghestan

Corbett GG (2009) Preface to New challenges in Typology. Transcending the Borders and Refining the Distinctions, pp. V-Vi Walter de Gruyter
Corbett GG (2005) Systems of Gender Assignment (chapter and map), In: Martin Haspelmath MD (eds.), World Atlas of Language Structures pp. 134-137 Oxford University Press
Brown D, Tiberius C, Corbett GG (2007) The alignment of form and function: Corpus-based evidence from Russian, International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 12 (4) pp. 511-534
This paper analyses constraints on inflectional syncretism and inflectional allomorphy using frequency information. Syncretism arises where one form is associated with more than one function, whereas inflectional allomorphy occurs where there is more than one inflectional class, and a single function is associated with two or more forms. If high frequency is associated with more differentiation on both sides, we expect, on the one hand, that a frequent function will have a high number of forms and, on the other, that a frequent form will have a high number of functions. Our study focuses on Russian nominals, in particular nouns, which exhibit both syncretism and inflectional allomorphy. We find that there is a relationship between frequency and differentiation, but that it is not exceptionless, and that the exceptions can be understood in terms of the use of referrals as default rules. © John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Baerman M, Brown D, Corbett GG (2015) Understanding and measuring morphological complexity: An introduction,
Corbett GG (2006) Number, In: Brown, K (eds.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd Edition, Vol 8 Oxford, Elsevier
Corbett GG, Brown D, Chumakina M, Hippisley A (2004) The Surrey Suppletion database,
CORBETT GG, FEDDEN S (2015) Canonical gender, Journal of Linguistics
Nominal classification remains a fascinating topic but in order to make further progress we need greater clarity of definition and analysis. Taking a Canonical Typology approach, we use canonical gender as an ideal against which we can measure the actual gender systems we find in the languages of the world. Building on previous work on canonical morphosyntactic features, particularly on how they intersect with canonical parts of speech, we establish the distinctiveness of gender, reflected in the Canonical Gender Principle: In a canonical gender system, each noun has a single gender value. We develop three criteria associated with this principle, which together ensure that canonically a noun has exactly one gender value; we give examples of non-canonicity for each criterion, thus gradually building the typology. This is the essential groundwork for a comprehensive typology of nominal classification: the Canonical Typological approach allows us to tease apart clusterings of properties and to characterize individual properties with respect to a canonical ideal, rather than requiring us to treat the entire system as belonging to a single type. This approach is designed to facilitate comparisons of different noun classification systems across languages.
Corbett GG (2007) Gender and Noun Classes, In: Shopen T (eds.), Language Typology and Syntactic Description: III: Grammatical categories and the lexicon pp. 241-279 Cambridge University Press[Revised version sent off 13.7.98, soft copy sent 15.1.02]
Corbett GG (2010) Canonical derivational morphology, Word Structure 3 (2) pp. 141-155 Edinburgh University Press
The approach of Canonical Typology has proved fruitful for investigating a range of problems in syntax, inflectional morphology and most recently in phonology. It is therefore logical to take a canonical approach to derivational morphology. It provides a new perspective on some old issues, showing how previous key ideas fit together. The criteria proposed prove to have some degree of external justification. And from the point of view of canonical typology the results are particularly promising, since the criteria are interestingly different from those proposed in other domains.
Bond O, Chumakina M (2016) Agreement domains and targets. (Chapter 3), In: Bond O, Corbett GG, Chumakina M, Brown D (eds.), Archi: Complexities of agreement in cross-theoretical perspective pp. 43-76 Oxford University Press
Brown DP, Tiberius C, Chumakina M, Corbett GG, Krasovitsky A (2009) Databases designed for investigating specific phenomena., In: Everaert M, Musgrave S, Dimitriadis A (eds.), The Use of Databases in Cross-Linguistic Studies 41 pp. 117-154 Mouton De Gruyter
In this chapter we consider databases which have been constructed to investigate particular linguistic phenomena. Data entered into a database with little thought or attention to its categorisation are at best usless, and in the worst case harmful if used to make spurious generalizations. So there is a requirement that we are explicit about our analyses and the phenomena under investigation, and that serious thought is given to the structure of the database.
Comrie B, Corbett GG (2002) The Slavonic Languages, Taylor & Francis
In this scholarly volume, each of the living Slavonic languages are analyzed and described in depth, together with the two extinct languages--Old Church Slavonic and Polabian.
Corbett GG (2006) Gender as a key morphosyntactic feature,
Corbett GG, Brown D, Tiberius C (2003) Qualitative typological databases: the Surrey experience.,
Eva Hajicova (ed) Abstracts: XVII International Congress of Linguists: Prague, Czech Republic, July 24-9, 2003
Chumakina M, Bond O, Corbett GG (2016) Essentials of Archi grammar. (Chapter 2), In: Bond O, Corbett GG, Chumakina M, Brown D (eds.), Archi: Complexities of agreement in cross-theoretical perspective pp. 17-42 Oxford University Press
Cross-linguistic database and typological database
Corbett GG (2012) Grammatical Relations in a typology of agreement systems, In: Suihkonen P, Comrie B, Solovyev V (eds.), Argument Structure and Grammatical Relations: A crosslinguistic typology XV pp. 37-54 John Benjamins Publishing Company
It has been suggested that grammatical relations should be sufficient to determine agreement relations within the clausal domain. Three types of counter-example to this proposal are presented. Then evidence is presented which suggests that the rules for agreement require access to thematic roles and to communicative functions. In addition, they need to refer to surface case. While grammatical relations provide a useful part of a typology of agreement, they are far from sufficient.
Corbett GG (2006) Determining features and their values,
Corbett GG (2011) The Unique Challenge of the Archi Paradigm, Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics. Special Session on Languages of the Caucasus pp. 52-67 Berkely Linguistics Society
The verbal paradigms of the Daghestanian language Archi are justly famous for their impressive size. I argue, however, that there is a more difficult problem lodged within a small and apparently simple part of the paradigm. It concerns the expression of gender and number, in their interaction with person. I present information on the large scale of the paradigm briefly, and then outline the
problem of person. The need, or lack of it, for a person feature in Archi has been discussed elsewhere, so that here I can simply summarize the argument.If the need for a person feature is accepted, it follows that the paradigm has an unusual shape. This paradigm is genuinely difficult, as I demonstrate in the main part of the paper."
Corbett GG, Baerman M, Brown D, Krasovitsky A, Long A (2008) Animacy in the development of the Russian predicative adjective in the 19th and 20th centuries,
Corbett GG, Klamer M, Schapper A, Holton G, Kratochvil F, Robinson L (2014) Numeral words and arithmetic operations in the Alor-Pantar languages, In: Klamer M (eds.), The Alor-pantar Languages: History and Typology pp. 337-373 Language Sciences press
© Oxford University Press, 2013.Features are standard currency in linguistics; they allow generalizations in syntax, and equally in morphology. Yet while features are heavily used, they are often taken for granted. It is therefore worth considering: the use of features (their logic, their place in different components), the substantive semantics of features, and the inventory of features.
Corbett G, Brown D, Chumakina M, Hippisley A (2004) Inflectional Syncretism and Corpora.,
Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Geneva
Corbett GG (2012) Periphrasis and possible lexemes, In: Periphrasis. The Role of Syntax and Morphology in Paradigms 7 pp. 169-189 Oxford University Press/British Academy
When examining Periphrasis we naturally analyse the state of the contributing elements and the interplay of syntactic and morphological factors. But if periphrastic forms are part of paradigms, we should also ask how periphrasis affects the notion ?possible lexeme?. In particular, we can look at the ways in which periphrastic forms ?split? lexemes. This is a relatively new area. Since periphrasis is in large part the issue of whether we are dealing with a single lexeme or more than one, it is therefore worth investigating these splits more generally, first looking at ?easier? splits, and only then going on to the typology of splits created by periphrasis. I shall not go over the issue of the competition between synthetic and periphrastic forms, for which see, for instance, Stump (2002) and Kiparsky (2005); rather I shall concentrate on the shape of lexemes which are split by periphrasis.
Corbett GG (2009) WORDS: forms, uses and complexity.,
Corbett G (2006) Agreement, pp. 1-328 Cambridge University Press
Corbett GG (2011) Higher order exceptionality in inflectional morphology., In: Simon H, Wiese H (eds.), Expecting the unexpected: Exceptions in grammar. 6 pp. 107-126 Mouton de Gruyer
We start from the notion of ?canonical? inflection, and we adopt an
inferential-realizational approach. We assume that we have already
established the features and their values for a given system (while
acknowledging that this may be a substantial analytic task). In a canonical
system, feature values ?should? multiply out so that all possible cells exist.
Paradigms ?should? be consistent, both internally (within the lexeme) and
externally (across lexemes). Such a scheme would make perfect sense in
functional terms: it provides maximal differentiation for minimal
phonological material. However, real systems show great divergences from
this idealization. A typology of divergences from the canonical scheme
situates the types of morphological exceptionality, including: periphrasis,
anti-periphrasis, defectiveness, overdifferentiation, suppletion, syncretism,
heteroclisis and deponency.
These types of exceptionality provide the basis for an investigation of
higher order exceptionality, which results from interactions of these
phenomena, where the exceptional phenomena target the same cells of the
paradigm. While some examples are vanishingly rare, they are of great
importance for establishing what is a possible word in human language,
since they push the limits considerably beyond normal exceptionality.
Corbett GG (2009) Suppletion: Typology, markedness, complexity, In: Steinkrüger MKP (eds.), On Inflection pp. 25-40 Moution de Gruyter
Corbett GG (2003) Types of typology, illustrated from gender systems, In: (.) FP (eds.), Noun Phrase Structure in the Languages of Europe (Empirical Approaches to Language Typology EUROTYP 20-7) pp. 289-334 Mouton de Gruyter
Corbett GG (2007) The typology of morphosyntactic features can we keep it simple?,
Corbett GG, Brown D, Chumakina M, Hippisley A (2005) Resources for suppletion: A typological database and a bibliography.,
On-line proceedings of the 4th Mediterranean Morphology Meeting (MMM4), Catania, Sicilia 21-23 Sep 2003
Hippisley A, Chumakina M, Corbett G, Brown D (2004) Suppletion: Frequency, categories and distribution of stems, Studies in Language 28 (2) pp. 387-418
Baerman M, Brown D, Corbett G (2002) Case syncretism in and out of Indo-European, In: Andronis M, Ball C, Elston H, Neuvel S (eds.), Papers from the 37th Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society. 1 pp. 15-28 Chicago Linguistic Society
Krasovitsky A, Baerman M, Brown D, Corbett G (2011) Changing semantic factors in case selection: Russian evidence from the last two centuries, Morphology 21 (3) pp. 573-592
We present a corpus-based study of variation in case assignment of the direct object of negated verbs in Russian over the past 200 years. Superficially the system of case forms available over this relatively short period has remained largely the same, but the way in which certain cases are used has been radically altered. This is particularly apparent in the treatment of the direct object of negated verbs. We argue that various semantic factors have been involved in bringing about this change, and that the role and significance of these factors has been changing over the period under investigation. This has implications for our understanding of the role of semantics in case assignment.
Corbett GG, Klamer M, Schapper A (2014) Plural number words in the Alor-Pantar Languages, In: Klamer M (eds.), The Alor-Pantar languages: History and typology pp. 375-412 Language Sciences Press
In this chapter, we investigate the variation in form, syntax and semantics of the
plural words found across the Alor-Pantar languages. We study five AP languages:
Western Pantar, Teiwa, Abui, Kamang and Wersing. We show that plural words in
Alor-Pantar family are diachronically instable: although proto-Alor-Pantar had a
plural number word *non, many AP languages have innovated new plural words.
Plural words in these languages exhibit not only a wide variety of different syntactic
properties but also variable semantics, thus likening them more to the range
exhibited by affixal plural number than previously recognized.
Corbett GG (1999) The place of agreement features in a specification of possible agreement systems, Folia Linguistica 33 (1-2) pp. 211-224 Mouton de Gruyter
Agreement features introduce greater complexity into agreement systems than is generally recognized. They may determine the agreement domain (Dargi) and certain combinations of feature values can rule out particular sentence types (Tsakhur). Feature interactions show three levels of complexity: just the target may be involved (German), or a computation of controller feature values may be required (Slovene), or computation may involve a covert feature (Miya).
Corbett GG (2006) Grammatical Gender, In: Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd edition, Vol 4 Oxford, Elsevier
Corbett GG (2009) Canonical inflectional classes., Selected Proceedings of the 6th Décembrettes: Morphology in Bordeaux pp. 1-11 Cascadilla Proceedings Project
The author uses a 'canonical' approach to offer a new perspective on the complex phenomenon of inflectional classes. This means extrapolating from what there is to what there might be, in order to define the theoretical space into which real instances fit. To do this, the author proposes eight criteria, grouped under two overarching principles. These are: I. distinctiveness: canonical inflectional classes are as clearly distinct as possible; and II. independence: the distribution of lexical items over canonical inflectional classes is unmotivated. The author investigates the various deviations from these principles, by considering in turn the more detailed criteria which exemplify them. While one might reasonably expect that 'canonical inflectional class' is an ideal without exemplars, the author finds an example which comes remarkably close to canonical.
Chumakina M, Brown D, Corbett G, Quilliam H (2011) Surrey Periphrasis Database [Available at: http://www.smg.surrey.ac.uk/Peri/],
Chumakina M, Corbett GG, Brown D, Quilliam H (2007) A Dictionary of the Languages of the Archi villages, south Daghestan [Available at: http://www.smg.surrey.ac.uk/archi/linguists/index.aspx ],
Corbett GG, Fraser NF (2000) Default genders, In: Unterbeck B, Rissanen M, Nevalainen T, Saari M (eds.), Gender in Grammar and Cognition 124 Berlin:Mouton de Gruyter 55-97. [Reprinted 2002 in the Mouton Jubilee collection "Mouton Classics: From syntax to Cognition: From Phonology to text", volume 1, 297-339]
Corbett GG, Tiberius C, Brown D (2003) Ambiguity in Russian Morphology, Lancaster 790
Proceedings of Corpus Linguistics 20003. University Centre for Computer Corpus Research on Language Technical Papers Vol 16
Corbett GG (2006) Gender, Grammatical, pp. 749-756
The term 'gender' requires discussion, since linguistic traditions differ here. This requires us to confront the analytical issue of determining the number of genders in a given language. The central concern of this article will be gender assignment-that is, the way in which the native speaker allots nouns to genders. Examination of languages from different families reveals that genders always have a semantic core, which may be biological sex, or animacy, with other features also having a role. In some languages, nouns are assigned to genders solely on the basis of semantics, but in others this semantic information is supplemented by formal information, which may be phonological or morphological. Given this typology, it is apparent that gender is distributed in interesting ways across the world's languages. Finally, prospects for research into gender are considered. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Evans N, Brown DP, Corbett GG (2002) The Semantics of Gender in Mayali: partially parallel systems and formal implementation, Language 78 (1) pp. 111-155
International Symposium 'the typology of argument structure and grammatical relations'11-14 may 2004, Kazan, Proceedings. Kazan state University
Baerman M, Brown D, Corbett GG (2015) Understanding and Measuring Morphological Complexity, pp. 1-240
© editorial matter and organization Matthew Baerman, Dunstan Brown, and Greville G. Corbett 2015. © the chapters their several authors 2015. All rights reserved.Language is a complex thing, otherwise we as humans would not devote so much of our resources to learning it, either the first time around or on later attempts. And of the many ways languages have of being complex, perhaps none is so daunting as what can be achieved by inflectional morphology. Indeed, a mere mention of the 1,000,000-form verb paradigm of Archi (a language of the Caucasus region) or the 100+ inflection classes of Chinantec (a language of Oaxaca, Mexico) might be enough to send shivers down one's spine. Alongside this complexity, inflection is notable for its variety across languages: one can take two unrelated languages and discover that they share similar syntax or phonology, but one would be hard-pressed to find two unrelated languages with the same inflectional systems. This volume represents a step towards assessing the nature of morphological complexity, and the properties that distinguish it from the complexity manifested in other components of language. The ten chapters highlight novel perspectives on conceptualizing morphological complexity, and offer concrete means for measuring, quantifying, and analysing it. Examples are drawn from a wide range of languages, including those of North America, New Guinea, Australia, and Asia, alongside a number of European languages.
Baerman M, Corbett, Brown DP, Hippisley AR (2007) Deponency and Morphological Mismatches, Oxford University Press
Deponency is a mismatch between form and function in language that was first described for Latin, where there is a group of verbs (the deponents) which are morphologically passive but syntactically active. This is evidence of a larger problem involving the interface between syntax and morphology: inflectional morphology is supposed to specify syntactic function, but sometimes it sends out the wrong signal. Although the problem is as old as the Western linguistic tradition, no generally accepted account of it has yet been given, and it is safe to say that all current theories of language have been constructed as if deponency did not exist.

In recent years, however, linguists have begun to confront its theoretical implications, albeit largely in isolation from each other. There is as yet no definitive statement of the problem, nor any generally accepted definition of its nature and scope.

This volume brings together the findings of leading scholars working in the area of morphological mismatches, and represents the first book-length typological and theoretical treatment of the topic. It will establish the important role that research on deponency has to play in contemporary linguistics, and set the standard for future work.

Corbett GG (2001) Asymmetries of morphological marking, In: Christopher Schaner-Wolles JRRAFN (eds.), Naturally! Linguistic studies in honour of Wolfgang Ulrich Dressler presented on the occasion of his 60th birthday pp. 87-95 Rosenberg & Sellier
Brown DP, Chumakina, M, Corbett G, Popova, G., Spencer, A. (2012) Defining ?periphrasis?: key notions, Morphology 22 (2) pp. 233-275 Springer Link
We examine the notion of ?(inflectional) periphrasis? within the framework of Canonical Typology, and argue that the canonical approach allows us to define a logically coherent notion of periphrasis. We propose a set of canonical criteria for inflectional morphology and a set of canonical criteria for functional syntax, that is, syntactic constructions which include functional elements and which express grammatical features. We argue that canonical periphrasis is exemplified in our theoretical space of possibilities whenever a cell in a (canonically morphological) inflectional paradigm (?feature intersection?) is expressed by a multiword construction which respects the canonical properties of functional syntax. We compare our canonically-based approach with the approach of other authors, notably, Ackerman & Stump (2004), who argue for three sufficient conditions for a construction to be regarded as periphrastic: feature intersection, non-compositionality and distributed exponence. We argue that non-compositionality and distributed exponence, while sometimes diagnostic of periphrasis on a language-particular basis, do not constitute canonical properties of periphrasis. We also examine crucial but neglected syntactic aspects of periphrastic constructions: recursion of periphrases and headedness of periphrastic constructions. The approach we propose allows us to distinguish between constructions in actual languages which approximate the ideal of canonical periphrasis to various degrees without committing us to a categorical distinction between periphrastic and non-periphrastic constructions. At the same time we can capture the intuition that there is in some languages a distinct identifiable set of multiword constructions whose principal role is to realize grammatical features.
Krasovitsky A, Baerman M, Brown D, Corbett GG, Long A, Quilliam H (2009) Database of Short Term Morphosyntactic Change: variation in Russian 1801-200.,
Languages change by gaining and losing word forms over time, but an equally significant role in their history is played by subtle shifts in the function of existing forms. Investigating such developments requires us to analyse patterns of use in large amounts of historical data, but such data are simply unavailable for most languages. Russian is a happy exception. It is a language with a rich and relatively stable system of inflectional morphology. Yet while the system of forms has changed relatively little, the use of these forms has undergone a remarkable degree of change over the last 200 years, a period for which a substantial quantity of varied material is available. The database is the product of a project funded by the Arts and Humanties Research Council (grant number RG/AN4375/APN18306); a full list of project outputs may be found at http://www.surrey.ac.uk/LIS/SMG/STMC/
By investigating a corpus of literary texts created between 1801 and 2000 (10 million words in total), we have shown how dramatically a language can change even as the actual word forms remain unchanged. The database was designed to help address two theoretical questions:
" What is the nature of morphosyntactic change in a language whose morphological system remains stable?
" What factors condition the choice between competing forms?
The database provides statistical analyses of the competition between grammatical forms for six morphosyntactic phenomena within equal time periods, described below. We give the user the means to investigate morphological, syntactic, stylistic and socio-linguistic factors involved in historical change , and so to observe how innovative usage spreads across contexts. Besides the results of this original study, we also give the results of earlier, less complete, studies by other scholars. An annotated bibliography of these sources is available at http://www.surrey.ac.uk/LIS/SMG/STMC/Bibliography.htm
The data are the result of several person-years of effort; we have published some of the findings, and we welcome further use of the database by other researchers. We want the database to be accessible to historical linguists with no knowledge of Russian, as well as to Russianists, and so we give the examples in transliterated form. The database available at http://www.smg.surrey.ac.uk/STMC/(S(qhyfve45odjjhv45tllm0sbd))/index.aspx
Corbett GG (1991) Gender, Cambridge Univ Pr
Gender distinction is often based on sex; sometimes this is only one criterion and the gender of nouns depends on other factors (thus "house" is masculine in Russian, feminine in French and neuter in Tamil).
Corbett GG, Browne W (2009) Serbo-Croat: Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, Serbian, In: Comrie B (eds.), The World¹s Major Languages 18 pp. 330-346 Routledge
Corbett GG (2004) The Russian Adjective: A pervasive yet elusive category, In: Aikhenvald RMWDAAY (eds.), Adjective classes: A cross-linguistic typology pp. 199-222 Oxford University Press
Corbett GG (2010) Morphology-free syntax:two counter-examples from Serbo-Croat., In: Franks S, CHidambaran V, Joseph B (eds.), A Linguist's Linguist: Studies in South Slavic Linguistics in Honor of E.Wayles Browne Bloomington, Indiana: Slavica
Hayward RJ, Corbett GG (1988) Resolution rules in Qafar, Linguistics 26 (2) pp. 259-280 Walter de Gruyter
Corbett GG (2010) Features in typology,
If we consider the widely varying approaches to languages, we find one thing that is shared by almost all: namely the use of features. They have a central place in theoretical syntax and morphology, and are the subject of major typological generalizations. Although features underpin a good deal of what we do in linguistics, they have been neglected: they are used in inconsistent ways, without sufficient attention to the logic of their use and the variety of their meanings. The course will therefore consider why features are so important in linguistics, and set out the different types of feature. We then consider the basic and challenging issue of how we establish the features and values of a particular language. We then have to ask whether and how we can compare features across languages. We whall analyse particularly the genuinely morphosyntactic features (number, gender, person, case, and in rare instances definiteness and respect), since these are in many ways the most interesting. We shall see that they do indeed offer interesting typological patterns, while also displaying remarkable diversity.
Brown DP, Chumakina M, Corbett GG (2012) Canonical Morphology and Syntax, Oxford University Press
This is the first book to present Canonical Typology, a framework for comparing constructions and categories across languages. The canonical method takes the criteria used to define particular categories or phenomena (eg negation, finiteness, possession) to create a multidimensional space in which language-specific instances can be placed. In this way, the issue of fit becomes a matter of greater or lesser proximity to a canonical ideal. Drawing on the expertise of world class scholars in the field, the book addresses the issue of cross-linguistic comparability, illustrates the range of areas - from morphosyntactic features to reported speech - to which linguists are currently applying this methodology, and explores to what degree the approach succeeds in discovering the elusive canon of linguistic phenomena.
Corbett GG (2001) Grammatical gender, In: Baltes NJSAPB (eds.), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences: IX pp. 6335-6340 Elsevier
Corbett GG (2009) Gradience in morphosyntactic features,
As Einstein nicely put it: ?Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.? It would be good to have a simple typology of the morphosyntactic features. And if Zwicky (1986: 988-989) is right in suggesting that there is a fixed list of available features and values, then a simple typology is an attainable goal. However, when we examine how features and their values can be established for given languages, gradience appears to be a major challenge. One common response to this challenge is to propose additional feature values; as we shall see, this response would rule out a simple typology. I argue that this approach fails: additional values cannot account for gradience. This means that we can still work towards the ideal of a simple typology. Thus for this paper, gradience looms large as a possible obstacle to a different goal. Gradience is an obstacle, which might suggest that we were heading for the ?simpler? situation, the one that fails to recognize the true complexity of the problem. I will show that this apparent obstacle is not directly relevant, allowing us still to work towards a typology which is indeed ?as simple as possible?
Corbett GG, Trippel T, Maxwell M, Prince C, Manning C, Grimes S, Moran S (2008) Lexicon Schemas and Related Data Models: when standards meet users,
Lexicon schemas and their use are discussed in this paper from the perspective of lexicographers and field linguists. A variety of lexicon schemas have been developed, with goals ranging from computational lexicography (DATR) through archiving (LIFT, TEI) to standardization (LMF, FSR). A number of requirements for lexicon schemas are given. The lexicon schemas are introduced and compared to each other in terms of conversion and usability for this particular user group, using a common lexicon entry and providing examples for each schema under consideration. The formats are assessed and the final recommendation is given for the potential users, namely to request standard compliance from the developers of the tools used. This paper should foster a discussion between authors of standards, lexicographers and field linguists.

Published in "Proceedings of the 6th International Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC'08)"

Corbett GG (2001) Why linguists need languages, In: (.) LM (eds.), On Biocultural Diversity: Linking Language, Knowledge, and the Environment pp. 82-94 Smithsonian Institution Press
Kibort A, Corbett GG (2010) Features: perspective on a key notion in linguistics., Oxford University Press
Offers new perspectives on basic elements of linguistic analysis
Subject is of interest to all linguists
Important for both theoretical and empirical research
Written by prominent, international scholars
This book presents a critical overview of current work on linguistic features and establishes new bases for their use in the study and understanding of language.

Features are fundamental components of linguistic description: they include gender (feminine, masculine, neuter); number (singular, plural, dual); person (1st, 2nd, 3rd); tense (present, past, future); and case (nominative, accusative, genitive, ergative). Despite their ubiquity and centrality in linguistic description, much remains to be discovered about them: there is, for example, no readily available inventory showing which features are found in which of the world's languages; there is no consensus about how they operate across different components of language; and there is no certainty about how they interact. This book seeks at once to highlight and to tackle these problems. It brings together perspectives from phonology to formal syntax and semantics, expounding the use of linguistic features in typology, computer applications, and logic. Linguists representing different standpoints spell out clearly the assumptions they bring to different kinds of feature and describe how they use them. Their contrasting contributions highlight the areas of difference and the common ground between their perspectives.

The book brings together original work by leading international scholars. It will appeal to linguists of all theoretical persuasions.

Readership: Linguists of all theoretical persuasions - including syntacticians, morphologists, computational linguists, and typologists - and their postgraduate students.

Davies IRL, Sosenskaja T, Corbett GG (1999) Colours in Tsakhur: First account of the basic colour terms of a Nakh-Daghestanian language, Linguistic Typology 3 (2) pp. 179-207 Walter de Gruyter
Davies IRL, Corbett GG (1994) The basic colour terms of Russian, Linguistics 32 (1) pp. 65-90 Walter de Gruyter
Corbett GG, Baerman M, Brown D, Krasovitsky A, Long A (2005) Diachronic processes in Russian morphosyntax (a corpus based approach),
Chumakina M, Bond O (2016) Competing controllers and agreement potential. (Chapter 4), In: Bond O, Corbett GG, Chumakina M, Brown D (eds.), Archi: Complexities of agreement in cross-theoretical perspective pp. 77-117 Oxford University Press
Corbett G (2007) Deponency, syncretism and what lies between, In: Baerman M, Corbett G, Brown D, Hippisley A (eds.), Deponency and Morphological Mismatches 145 pp. 21-43 British Academy and Oxford University
This chapter discusses how deponency is to be differentiated from syncretism, which shows important similarities. It attempts to provide ?intellectual housekeeping?, which puts order into the description of inflectional morphology. This allows for an analysis of the diversity of inflectional morphology by confronting it with an elegant order. It is revealed that there are types of lexeme whose interest and importance had not previously been fully recognized.
Baerman M, Corbett GG (2012) Introduction: Defectiveness: Typology and Diachrony,
A defective word is defined by paradigm as incomplete compared with the major class it belongs to. Defectiveness signifies the unwanted intrusion of morphological idiosyncrasy into syntax. Although this phenomenon has been a constant subject of studies, it has been ill incorporated into the theories of language. This present volume brings together scholars from various theoretical schools for an overdue typological view of defectiveness. It concentrates on some samples of idiosyncratic gaps which are assumed as indicative of the phenomenon of defectiveness. Before delving into the specified topics of each chapter, this introductory chapter presents a typology of defective paradigms. It discusses terms used to describe defectiveness in synchronic terms, and the possible diachrony of defective paradigms.
Fedden S, Corbett GG (2017) Gender and classifiers in concurrent systems: refining the typology of nominal classification, Glossa 2 (1) 34 pp. 1-47 Ubiquity Press
Some languages have both gender and classifiers, contrary to what was once believed possible. We use these interesting languages as a unique window onto nominal classification. They provide the impetus for a new typology, based on the degree of orthogonality of the semantic systems and the degree of difference of the forms realizing them. This nine-way typology integrates traditional gender, traditional classifiers and ? importantly ? the many recently attested phenomena lying between. Besides progress specifically in understanding nominal classification, our approach provides clarity on the wider theoretical issue of single versus concurrent featural systems.
Corbett G (2001) Number, In: Martin Haspelmath E (eds.), Language Typology and Linguistic Universals: An International Handbook pp. 816-831 de Gruyter
Corbett G, Fedden O, Finkel R (2017) Single versus concurrent systems: nominal classification in Mian, Linguistic Typology 21 (2) pp. 209-260 de Gruyter
The Papuan language Mian allows us to refine the typology of nominal classification. Mian has two candidate classification systems, differing completely in their formal realization but overlapping considerably in their semantics. To determine whether to analyse Mian as a single system or concurrent systems we adopt a canonical approach. Our criteria ? orthogonality of the systems (we give a precise measure), semantic compositionality, morphosyntactic alignment, distribution across parts of speech, exponence and interaction with other features ? point mainly to an analysis as concurrent systems. We thus improve our analysis of Mian and make progress with the typology of nominal classification.
Corbett GG (2014) Lexicalization and paradigmatic structure: Key instances in Slavonic., In: Motoki N, Danylenko A, Piper P (eds.), Grammaticalization and Lexicalization in the Slavic Languages: Proceedings from the 36th meeting of the Commission on the Grammatical Structure of the Slavic Languages of the international Committee of Slavists pp. 266-274 Otto Sagner
Corbett GG (2010) Classic problems at the syntax-morphology interface:whose are they?, Proceedings of the HPSG10 Conference pp. 255-268 CSLI Publications
There are fascinating problems at the syntax-morphology interface which tend to be missed. I offer a brief explanation of why that may be happening, then give a Canonical Typology perspective, which brings these problems to the fore. I give examples showing that the phenomena could in principle be treated either by syntactic rules (but these would be complex) or within morphology (but this would involve redundancy). Thus `non-autonomous' case values, those which have no unique form but are realized by patterns of syncretism, could be handled by a rule of syntax (one with access to other features, such as number) or by morphology (with resulting systematic syncretisms). I concentrate on one of the most striking sets of data, the issue of prepositional government in Latvian, and outline a solution within Network Morphology using structured case values.
Corbett GG (2012) Features, Cambridge University Press
Features are a central concept in linguistic analysis. They are the basic building blocks of linguistic units, such as words. For many linguists they offer the most revealing way to explore the nature of language. Familiar features are Number (singular, plural, dual, &), Person (1st, 2nd, 3rd) and Tense (present, past, &). Features have a major role in contemporary linguistics, from the most abstract theorizing to the most applied computational applications, yet little is firmly established about their status. They are used, but are little discussed and poorly understood. In this unique work, Corbett brings together two lines of research: how features vary between languages and how they work. As a result, the book is of great value to the broad range of perspectives of those who are interested in language.
Corbett GG (2012) Canonical morphosyntactic features., In: Brown D, Chumakina M, Corbett GG (eds.), Canonical morphology and syntax Oxford University Press
Fedden O, Feist T, Baerman M, Brown D, Corbett G, Senft G (2015) Mian and Kilivila Collection, The University of Surrey
The Mian and Kilivila Collection contains information pertaining to the nominal classification systems of two indigenous languages of Papua New Guinea, Mian and Kilivila. Kilivila has a single system of classifiers, with a great number of distinctions, while Mian has a dual system, which combines four genders and six classifiers. The Digital Collection on this website permits users to gain a greater understanding of these systems by exploring images of Mian and Kilivila objects and people. Users are also able to test what they have learnt about the classifications systems of these two languages by taking the online Quiz.
Paper in the Arbeitsgruppe 'Auf alles gefasst sein: Ausnahmen in der Grammatik' at the 27th Annula meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Sprachwissenschaft, Cologne 23-25 Feb 2005
Chumakina M, Kibort A, Corbett GG (2007) Determining a language?s feature inventory: person in Archi, Endangered Languages (special issue of Linguistische Berichte) 14 pp. 143-172 Helmut Buske

In descriptions of languages, we make use of morphosyntactic features such as gender, number or person. This paper shows that sometimes choosing the features and values to describe a language is not straightforward, and the decision of whether or not to use a particular feature requires careful consideration. Thus, when determining a language?s feature inventory, we should consider both why we posit a given feature, and how many values to posit for the feature. In our case study we look closely at the Daghestanian language Archi. It is usually assumed that languages have a person feature, but with Archi this is not self-evident. Archi (like some related languages) has no unique forms for agreement in person, and the standard descriptions of this language do not involve the feature person. However, the agreement patterns in Archi may be interpreted in favour of the presence of this feature, despite the absence of any phonologically distinct forms realising it. Thus, we claim that Archi does have the feature of person that had not been recognised for this language before. We also give a brief overview of the category of person in the languages of Daghestan.

Baerman M, Corbett GG (2007) Linguistic typology: Morphology, Linguistic Typology 11 (1) pp. 115-117
Typology in its modern form is connected with the search for universals. This works to the advantage of certain types of questions, those which allow a more or less coherent answer for any language. Phonology, syntax, and semantics are usually the starting point, and such topics as phonological inventories, word order, and the range of expressible semantic distinctions constitute the bulk of research. These also form the core questions of general linguistics, so this research emphasis is only to be expected. Conversely, one area that receives relatively little attention from typologists is morphology. This too is hardly surprising: of all the aspects of language, morphology is the most language-specific and hence least generalizable. Indeed, even the very presence of a meaningful morphological component is language-specific. © Walter de Gruyter 2007.
Corbett GG (2010) A Canonical Approach to Case in Slavonic (kanonski pristup pade~ima u slavenskim jezicima), Sintaksa pade~a: Zbornik radova znanstvenoga skupa: Drugi hrvatski sintakti
ki dani
pp. 57-74
Corbett GG (2009) Agreement, In: Berger T, Gutschmidt K, Kempgen S, Kosta P (eds.), Die Slavische Sprachen/The slavic Languages: An international Handbook of their Structure, their History and their Investigation, Vol 1 pp. 342-354 Walter de Gruyter
In many respects the agreement systems of Slavonic languages are close to canonical. Controllers of agreement are often present, they have overt expression of features, and they take consistent agreements. The target has obligatory bound expression of agreement, and there is matching of features values (for person, number and gender). However, Slavonic also shows several very interesting instances of agreement choices, induced by a range of different controller types. These agreement choices provide good evidence for the constraints of the Agreement Hierarchy and the Predicate Hierarchy, as well as for various types of condition on agreement, notably animacy and precedence.
Fedden O, Brown DP, Corbett GG, Holton G, Klamer M, Robinson LC, Schapper A (2013) Conditions on pronominal marking in the Alor-Pantar languages, Linguistics 51 (1) pp. 33-74 De Gruyter
We examine the varying role of conditions on grammatical relations marking (namely animacy and volitionality) by looking at different languages of one family, using both existing descriptions and working with specially prepared video stimuli. This enables us to see the degree of variation permitted within closely related languages. We look at four Alor-Pantar languages (Teiwa, Adang, Kamang, and Abui), Papuan languages of eastern Indonesia. The conditions on argument marking are manifested in different ways. Those languages with syntactic alignment index objects with a prefix, those which have semantic alignment index objects and some subjects with a prefix. In 42 video clips we systematically varied animacy and volitionality values for participants in one and two-participant events. These clips were used in fieldwork to elicit descriptions of the events. The data show that animacy of the object is an important factor which favours indexation of the object on the verb in all four languages to varying degrees. Volitionality, on the other hand, is a factor in the semantically aligned languages only. While the presence of a prefix on the verb is semantically motivated in many instances, marking is not directly determined by verbal or participant semantics, and lexical factors must also play a role.
Corbett GG (2011) Split Lexemes in Slavonic, Sreto Tanasi? (editor) Gramatika i leksika u slovenskim jezicima: Zbornik radova s me?unarodnog simpozijuma, 113-123. Novi Sad / Belgrade: Matica srpska / Institut za srpski jezik SANU.
Corbett GG, Kibort A (2007) Where do features come from? Phonological Primitives in the Brain, the Mouth and the Ear,
Corbett GG (2005) Systems of nominal classification I: Gender oppositions, In: Cruse DA, Hundsnurscher F, Job M, Lutzeier PR (eds.), Lexicology: An international Handbook on the Nature and Structure of Words and Vocabularies: II pp. 986-994 de Gruyter
Corbett GG, Hippisley A, Brown D, Marriott P (2001) Frequency, regularity and the paradigm: a perspective from Russian on a complex relation. In: J. Bybee and P. Hopper (eds) Frequency and the Emergence of Linguistic Structure, In: Hopper JBAP (eds.), Frequency and the Emergence of Linguistic Structure pp. 201-226 John Benjamins
Round ER, Corbett GG (2017) The theory of feature systems: One feature versus two for Kayardild tense-aspect-mood, Morphology 27 (1) pp. 21-75 Springer
Features are central to all major theories of syntax and morphology. Yet it can be a non-trivial task to determine the inventory of features and their values for a given language, and in particular to determine whether to postulate one feature or two in the same semantico-syntactic domain. We illustrate this from tenseaspect-mood (TAM) in Kayardild, and adduce principles for deciding in general between one-feature and two-feature analyses, thereby contributing to the theory of feature systems and their typology. Kayardild shows striking inflectional complexities, investigated in two major studies (Evans 1995, Round 2013), and it proves particularly revealing for our topic. Both Evans and Round claimed that clauses in Kayardild have not one but two concurrent TAM features. While it is perfectly possible for a language to have two features of the same type, it is unusual. Accordingly, we establish general arguments which would justify postulating two features rather than one; we then apply these specifically to Kayardild TAM. Our finding is at variance with both Evans and Round; on all counts, the evidence which would motivate an analysis in terms of one TAM feature or two is either approximately balanced, or clearly favours an analysis with just one. Thus even when faced with highly complex language facts, we can apply a principled approach to the question of whether we are dealing with one feature or two, and this is encouraging for the many of us seeking a rigorous science of typology. We also find that Kayardild, which in many ways is excitingly exotic, is in this one corner of its grammar quite ordinary.
Enger HO, Corbett GG (2012) Definiteness, Gender, and Hybrids:
Evidence from Norwegian Dialects,
Journal of Germanic Linguistics 24 (4) pp. 287-324 Cambridge University Press
In some Norwegian dialects, such as older Oslo dialect, the noun
mamma ?mother? unexpectedly appears to be masculine. The Nordreisa
dialect (Northern Norwegian) goes one step further. The word looks
like it is masculine, but only in the definite form. This is an unusual
?split? because gender mixture is normally based on number, not
definiteness (but we find some few corroborative examples in other
Norwegian dialects and different, but converging evidence on the
Web). The Nordreisa example of mamma is unusual also because
agreement targets are affected differently. The preference is for masculine
agreement within the noun phrase, but for feminine agreement
outside it. This is, therefore, an intriguing example since it combines a
split based on definiteness with different gender requirements according
to different agreement targets. On careful analysis, and given strict
adherence to the classical, agreement-based definition of gender, the
unusual behavior of mamma turns out to conform to the Agreement Hierarchy
Corbett GG, Noonan M (2008) Case and grammatical relations: studies in honor of Bernard Comrie, John Benjamins Publishing Company
The papers in this volume can be grouped into two broad, overlapping classes: those dealing primarily with case and those dealing primarily with grammatical relations. With regard to case, topics include descriptions of the case systems of two Caucasian languages, the problems of determining how many cases Russian has and whether Hungarian has a case system at all, the issue of case-combining, the retention of the dative in Swedish dialects, and genitive objects in the languages of Europe. With regard to grammatical relations, topics include the order of obliques in OV and VO languages, the effects of the referential hierarchy on the distribution of grammatical relations, the problem of whether the passive requires a subject category, the relation between subjecthood and definiteness, and the issue of how the loss of case and aspectual systems triggers the use of compensatory mechanisms in heritage Russian.
Corbett G, Krasovitsky A, Long A, Baerman M, Brown D (2005) Predicate nouns in Russian,
SLS2006: The First Conference of the Slavic Linguistics Society, Bloomington IN.
Corbett G (2007) Deponency, syncretism and what lies between., Deponency and Morphological Mismatches. pp. 21-43 British Academy and Oxford University Press
Corbett GG, Hewitt BG (2013) Aleksandr Kibrik: An appreciation, LINGUISTIC TYPOLOGY 17 (3) pp. 516-517 WALTER DE GRUYTER GMBH
Corbett G (2000) Number,
Provides an introduction to the grammatical category of number surveying many of the world's languages.
Corbett GG (2001) Grammatical number, In: Baltes NJSAPB (eds.), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences: IX pp. 6340-6342 Elsevier
Davies IRL, MacDermid C, Corbett GG, McGurk H, Jerrett D, Jerrett T, Sowden P (1992) Color terms in Setswana: a linguistic and perceptual approach., Linguistics 30 (6) pp. 1065-1104 Walter de Gruyter
Corbett GG, Tiberius C, Brown D, Barron J (2002) The Surrey Database of Agreement,
Corbett GG (2003) Agreement: The range of the phenomenon and the principles of the Surrey Database of Agreement., Agreement: A Typological Perspective (special number of Transactions of the Philogical Society 101 (2) pp. 155-202 Blackwell

Agreement is approached from the analytical decisions required for constructing a typological database. The Surrey Database of Agreement provides detailed, highly structured information on the agreement systems of fifteen genetically diverse languages. The range of material included and the criteria for inclusion are set out here. There is then detailed discussion of the difficult cases, in particular the dividing line between agreement markers and pronominal affixes. The criteria relevant to this distinction are in part drawn from the literature and in part new. The aim is that the criteria adopted should be fully clear, so that linguists of different persuasions can use the database for their varying purposes.

Corbett GG (2009) Morphosyntactic features: the special contribution of the Slavonic languages., In: Birzer S, Finkelstein M, Mendoza I (eds.), Proceedings of the Second International Perspectives on Slavistics Conference (Regensburg 2006) pp. 68-74 Otto Sagner
Corbett GG (2016) Morphomic splits, In: Luís A, Bermúdez-Otero R (eds.), The Morphome Debate 4 pp. 64-88 Oxford University Press.
Lexemes may have an internally consistent paradigm, or the paradigm may be split
into segments. Splits may be ?motivated?, that is they may correspond to
morphosemantic, morphosyntactic2 or phonological specifications. Alternatively the
split may lack such motivation, in which case we have a morphomic split, one which
arguably increases the complexity of the system with no obvious corresponding
return. We shall focus on the difference between these two types, so that we can
recognise morphomic splits. There are some properties which the two types of split
share: for instance, both motivated and morphomic splits can be viewed in terms of
Wurzel?s Paradigm Structure Conditions (1989: 118), that is, there can be predictive
relations within the segments; and both types can persist over long periods of time.3
But they are also interestingly different, which makes drawing the distinction
valuable. It bears on the important notion that syntax is morphology-free. Our main
question, then, is ?how do morphomic splits differ from motivated splits??
Krasovitsky A, Long A, Baerman M, Brown D, Corbett GG (2008) Predicate nouns in Russian, Russian Linguistics 32 (2) pp. 99-113
Baerman M, Corbett GG, Brown D (2009) The Surrey Defectiveness Database (consisting of a Typological Database and a 100-language Survey), University of Surrey
The term 'defectiveness' refers to gaps in inflectional paradigms ? specifically, gaps which do not appear to follow from natural restrictions imposed by meaning or function. The Latin noun for 'change' is a textbook example: bizarrely, it lacks nominative and dative singular forms, and has no genitive plural.
The fact that inflectional paradigms may have such anomalous gaps in them has been known since at least the days of the classical grammarians, but now as then, we understand little about them. And though the existence of defective paradigms is indisputable, few people could name more than a handful of examples. The project A Typology of Defectiveness, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, completed in February 2009, has aimed to expand our empirical knowledge of this intriguing phenomenon and to clarify its significance for the study of language. This website hosts two complementary databases.
The Typological Database examines the different types of defective paradigms according to various typological parameters. This database illustrates different types of defective paradigm according to various morphological and morphosyntactic parameters: a) Word class: what word class do the defective lexemes belong to? b) Morphosyntactic category: what morphosyntactic features characterize the missing forms? c) Paradigmatic correlation: can the gap(s) in the paradigm be described in terms of an easily definable morphological category (e.g. a word missing a particular morphological stem) or a morphosyntactic category (e.g. a verb missing its past tense or 1st person singular)?

The 100-language Survey looks for plausible examples within a controlled sample, in order to gain a picture of how prevalent defectiveness actually is in the languages of the world.

Corbett GG, Tiberius C, Barron J (2002) Agreement: A bibliography,
Corbett GG, Brown D, Evans N (2002) Morphology, typology, computation. In: S. Bendjaballah, W.U. Dressler, O.E. Pfeiffer and M. Voeikova (eds) Morphology 2000, Selected papers from the 9th Morphology Meeting, Vienna, 24-25 February 2000, In: Bendjaballah S, Dressler U, Pfeiffer OE, Voeikova M (eds.), Morphology 2000: Selected Papers from the 9th Morphology Meeting, Vienna 24-28 February 2000 pp. 91-104 Benjamins
Corbett G, Brown D, Baerman M (2002) The Surrey Syncretisms Database,
Corbett GG (2006) Linguistic Features, In: Brown K (eds.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd edition, Vol 7 Oxford, Elsevier
Baerman M, Corbett G (2010) Defectiveness: Typology and Diachrony, In: Baerman M, Corbett G, Brown D (eds.), Defective Paradigms: Missing Forms and What They Tell Us. pp. 1-18 Oxford University Press
Chumakina M, Brown D, Corbett G, Quilliam H (2008) Archi: A dictionary of the language of the Archi People, Daghestan, Caucasus, with sounds and pictures (reference edition, DVD for Windows),
Archi is spoken by about 1200 people in a remote mountain region in Daghestan. The language is characterised by remarkable phonetics, a very high degree of irregularity in all its inflecting word classes and by its morphological system, with extremely large paradigms. Archi culture is one of the most distinctive and best-preserved cultures of Daghestan.
Corbett GG, Brown DP, Fedden S, Hippisley A, Marriott P (2013) Grammatical typology and frequency analysis: Number availability and number use., Journal of Language Modelling 1.227-241 1 (2) pp. 227-241 Polish Academy of Sciences
The Smith-Stark hierarchy, a version of the Animacy Hierarchy, offers a typology of the cross-linguistic availability of number. The hierarchy predicts that the availability of number is not arbitrary. For any language, if the expression of plural is available to a noun, it is available to any noun of a semantic category further to the left of the hierarchy. In this article we move one step further by showing that the structure of the hierarchy can be observed in a statistical model of number use in Russian. We also investigate three co-variates: plural preference, pluralia tantum and irregularity effects; these account for an item's behaviour being different than that solely expected from its animacy position.
Corbett GG (2011) The penumbra of morphosyntactic feature systems, Morphology 21 (2) pp. 445-480 Springer
Often features are presented as clean, neat, simple. Indeed it is the contrast with the idiosyncrasies of lexical items which gives the intuitive justification for features. But reality is more complex. There are many instances where it is arguable whether we should postulate a feature (value), as with person in Archi. We must recognize that feature systems vary: (a) according to how well founded they are, and (b) in how they distribute across the lexicon. To analyse this difficult area, the penumbra of feature systems, I start from an idealized view, and then plot the deviations from that ideal. In other words, I take a ?canonical? approach. Having justified this approach in general terms, I propose a specific set of converging criteria for canonical features and values, concentrating on the genuine morphosyntactic features. In brief, the overarching principles are that a canonical morphosyntactic feature is constrained by simple rules of syntax (including the claim that syntax is ?morphology-free?) and has robust formal marking. These give us a point in the theoretical space from which to calibrate the difficult instances which abound in feature systems.

In accounts of particular features, various types of what we may call non-canonical behaviour have been pointed out: e.g., non-autonomous case values (Zaliznjak 1973), minor numbers, inquorate genders. We should ask whether these problems are feature-specific or whether they recur in the different morphosyntactic features. It turns out that, at the right level of abstraction, we find similar instances of non-canonicity with the different features. Let us concentrate on the criteria contributing to ?robust formal marking?:

Criterion 1: Canonical features and their values have dedicated forms.
We find non-autonomous case values (violating criterion 1), in Classical Armenian, for instance (Baerman 2002); similarly we find non-autonomous gender values (as in Romanian).

Criterion 2: Canonical features and their values are uniquely distinguishable across other logically compatible features and their values.
Deviations give sub-genders (Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian), sub-cases (Russian) and sub-numbers (Biak).

Criterion 3: Canonical features and their values are distinguished consistently across relevant parts of speech (word classes).
In the easy examples, one part of speech has values which represent a collapsing of values available on another. More interesting are systems where combinations give ad

Corbett GG (2005) The Number of Genders (chapter and map), In: Martin Haspelmath MD, Dryer MS, Gil D, Comrie B (eds.), The World Atlas of Language Structures pp. 126-137 Oxford University Press
Chumakina M, Corbett GG (2015) Gender-number marking in Archi: Small is complex, In: Understanding and Measuring Morphological Complexity
Baerman M, Brown DP, Corbett GG (2005) The Syntax-Morphology Interface: a Study of Syncretism, Cambridge University Press. xix + 281pp.
Chumakina M, Corbett GG (2008) Archi: the challenge of an extreme agreement system., In: A. V. Arxipov, L. M. Zaxarov, A. A. Kibrik, A. E.Kibrik, I. M. Kobozeva, O. F. Krivnova, Ljutikova EA, Fëdorova OV (eds.), Fonetika i nefonetika: K 70-letiju Sandro V. Kodzasova pp. 184-194 Jazyki slavjanskix kul´tur
Corbett GG (2007) Justifying morphosyntactic features and their values and The typology of features,
Brown DP, Corbett GG, Fraser N, Timberlake A (1996) Russian Noun Stress and Network Morphology, Linguistics 34 (1) pp. 53-107
Bond O, Corbett GG, Chumakina M, Brown D (2016) Archi: Complexities of agreement in cross-theoretical perspective, Oxford University Press
This book presents a controlled evaluation of three widely practised syntactic theories on the basis of the extremely complex agreement system of Archi, an endangered Nakh-Daghestanian language. Even straightforward agreement examples are puzzling for syntacticians because agreement involves both redundancy and arbitrariness. Agreement is a significant source of syntactic complexity, exacerbated by the great diversity of its morphological expression. Imagine how the discipline of linguistics would be if expert practitioners of different theories met in a collaborative setting to tackle such challenging agreement data - to test the limits of their models and examine how the predictions of their theories differ given the same linguistic facts. Following an overview of the essentials of Archi grammar and an introduction to the remarkable agreement phenomena found in this language, three distinct accounts of the Archi data examine the tractability and predictive power of major syntactic theories: Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Lexical Functional Grammar, and Minimalism. The final chapter compares the problems encountered and the solutions proposed in the different syntactic analyses and outlines the implications of the challenges that the Archi agreement system poses for linguistic theory.
Corbett GG, Baerman M (2006) Prolegomena to a typology of morphological features, Morphology 16 (2) pp. 231-246
Morphological features characterize variations in morphological form which are independent of syntactic context. They contrast with morphosyntactic features, which characterize variations in form correlated with different syntactic contexts. Morphological features account for formal variation across lexemes (inflectional class), as well as morphosyntactically incoherent alternations within the paradigm of a single lexeme. Such morphological features are not available to the syntax, as is made explicit in the principle of 'morphology-free syntax'. Building on work on stress patterns in Network Morphology and on stems in Paradigm Function Morphology, we take initial steps towards a typology of these morphological features. We identify four types: inflectional class features (affixal and prosodic), stem indexing features, syncretic index features and morphophonological features. Then we offer a first list of criteria for distinguishing them from morphosyntactic features (independently of the principle of morphology-free syntax). Finally we review the arguments demonstrating the need to recognize morphological features. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007.
Krasovitsky A, Baerman M, Brown D, Corbett G, Williams P (2010) Morphosyntactic Change in Russian: A Corpus-based Approach, In: Hansen B, Grkovi?-Major J (eds.), Diachronic Slavic syntax: Gradual changes in focus. 74 pp. 109-119 Verlag Otto Sagner
Corbett GG (2003) Agreement: overview, In: Frawley WJ (eds.), International Encyclopedia of Liguistics: Second Edition pp. 53-55 Oxford University Press
Baerman M, Corbett G, Brown D (2010) Defective Paradigms: missing forms and what they tell us, 163 Oxford University Press
An important design feature of language is the use of productive patterns in inflection. In English, we have pairs such as 'enjoy' ~ 'enjoyed', 'agree' ~ 'agreed', and many others. On the basis of this productive pattern, if we meet a new verb 'transduce' we know that there will be the form 'transduced'. Even if the pattern is not fully regular, there will be a form available, as in 'understand' ~ 'understood'. Surprisingly, this principle is sometimes violated, a phenomenon known as defectiveness, which means there is a gap in a word's set of forms: for example, given the verb 'forego', many if not most people are unwilling to produce a past tense. Although such gaps have been known to us since the days of Classical grammarians, they remain poorly understood. Defectiveness contradicts basic assumptions about the way inflectional rules operate, because it seems to require that speakers know that for certain words, not only should one not employ the expected rule, one should not employ any rule at all. This is a serious problem, since it is probably safe to say that all reigning models of grammar were designed as if defectiveness did not exist, and would lose a considerable amount of their elegance if it were properly factored in. This volume addressed these issues from a number of analytical approaches - historical, statistical and theoretical - and by using studies from a range of languages.
Corbett GG (2005) The canonical approach in typology, In: Zygmunt Frajzyngier AHADSR (eds.), Linguistic Diversity and Language Theories (Studies in Language Companion Series 72) pp. 25-49 Benjamins
Fedden S, Corbett GG (2017) Understanding intra-system dependencies: Classifiers in Lao, In: Enfield N (eds.), Dependencies in Language (13) pp. 171-179 Language Science Press.
Corbett GG (2007) Gradience in morphosyntactic features, In: Elliott M (eds.), CLS 43: The Main Session. Papers from the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society pp. 47-60
As Einstein nicely put it: ?Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.? It would be good to have a simple typology of the morphosyntactic features. And if Zwicky (1986: 988-989) is right in suggesting that there is a fixed list of available features and values, then a simple typology is an attainable goal. However, when we examine how features and their values can be established for given languages, gradience appears to be a major challenge. One common response to this challenge is to propose additional feature values; as we shall see, this response would rule out a simple typology. I argue that this approach fails: additional values cannot account for gradience. This means that we can still work towards the ideal of a simple typology. Thus for this paper, gradience looms large as a possible obstacle to a different goal. Gradience is an obstacle, which might suggest that we were heading for the ?simpler? situation, the one that fails to recognize the true complexity of the problem. I will show that this apparent obstacle is not directly relevant, allowing us still to work towards a typology which is indeed ?as simple as possible?
Corbett G (2003) Introduction, In: Brown D, Corbett G, Tiberius C (eds.), Agreement: A Typological Perspective (special number of Transactions of the Philological Society 101, no 2), 151-154 101 pp. 151-154
Corbett G, Kibort A (2010) Introduction, In: Kibort A, Corbett G (eds.), Features: perspectives on a key notion in linguistics Oxford University Press
We need to bring together research into the diverse content of features in the world's languages with the discussion of their formal properties, and look for insights across sub?discipline boundaries. This chapter offers summaries of all contributions and highlights areas of common ground between the different approaches. The selected perspectives represent major areas of linguistics where features are used.
Bond O, Corbett G, Chumakina M (2016) Introduction, In: Bond O, Corbett G, Chumakina M, Brown D (eds.), Archi: Complexities of agreement in cross-theoretical perspective (1) pp. 1-16 Oxford University Press
Baerman M, Corbett G (2013) Person by other means, In: Bakker D, Haspelmath M (eds.), Languages Across Boundaries: Studies in Memory of Anna Siewierska. pp. 13-26 Mouton De Gruyter
Person is required in an account of the syntax and the morphology of many languages, while others lack it. Between these two types are languages where person lacks unique morphological exponents (suggesting it is not a morphosyntactic feature) but interacts systematically with the expression of other features (suggesting it is a feature). In particular in a range of languages, notably in the Nakh-Daghestanian and Tucanoan families, the expression of gender and person are intertwined. The recurring pattern is that a default form in the gender system (inanimate or neuter) also serves for first and second person. After careful examination, possible analyses without a person feature become less attractive. While these genuinely difficult systems may still lead us to posit a morphosyntactic person feature, we must recognize that its status is intriguingly different from that which is normally found.
Corbett GG (2009) Universals and features., In: Scalise S, Magni E, Bisetto A (eds.), Universals of Language Today pp. 129-143 Springer
Greenberg?s paper on universals (1963) contains an interesting set of generalizations relating to features. It is a good time to review the issues involved in establishing universals of features. These verge on the philosophical at one extreme, while at the other they concern the practical question of how we present and gloss examples. Various initiatives concerned with standardization, taken broadly, are under way, and it is important that they should be fully informed by the linguistic issues. There are two main areas to discuss: the Analysis problem and the Correspondence problem. The Analysis problem: for a given language, we need to be able to justify the postulation of any feature (such as number or case). Equally, for each feature in the language we need to be able to justify the set of values postulated (for example: singular, dual, paucal and plural; nominative, accusative and genitive). For some languages the analysis is trivially simple, in others it is exceptionally complex (for some there have been long-running debates). In this context, it is worth reviewing the work of the Set-theoretical School, given its undoubted relevance for typology. The difficulties posed by hybrids will be discussed; this leads naturally to typological hierarchies and the ?Canonical? approach in modern typology. The Correspondence problem: as typologists we need to be able to justify treating features and their values as comparable across languages. This is not straightforward, and yet a good deal of typology, including enterprises such as the World Atlas of Language Structures, depends upon it. The problem has a second, more subtle version. Even within a single language, features and their values do not necessarily line up consistently. In Bayso, the number system of nouns and verbs interact in a complex way. In Romanian, the genders of nouns and adjectives differ, and there are many more such examples. Here a typological perspective can inform the analysis of a single language and, of course, a typology which ignored these languages would be considerably impoverished. Features are an area where the concerns of the typologist meet those of computational linguists, formal linguists, fieldworkers, in fact linguists in many different guises. As we put increasing theoretical weight on features, it is important to review our assumptions and check our progress in understanding them.
Fedden O, Corbett G (2018) Extreme classification, Cognitive Linguistics De Gruyter
Categorization retains its key importance in research on human cognition. It is an intellectual area where all disciplines devoted to human cognition ? psychology, philosophy, anthropology, and linguistics ? intersect. In language, categorization is not only a central part of lexical structure but is also salient in systems of nominal classification, notably gender and classifiers. Recent years have seen great progress in the description and analysis of nominal classification systems, so that we are now in a position to offer an account of such systems which brings cognition and typology together, providing the essential parameters for the calibration of experiments for investigating cognition. To this end, we establish the extremes of nominal classification systems, from the surprisingly simple to the surprisingly complex. We analyse the two essential components of nominal classification systems: (i) assignment, i.e. the principles (semantic or formal) which govern category assignment and (ii) exponence, i.e. the morphological means by which systems of nominal classification are expressed. We discuss extreme configurations of assignment and exponence in individual languages and extreme multiple pairings of assignment and exponence in languages with two or even more concurrent classification systems.
Baerman M, Corbett G (2012) Stem alternations and multiple exponence, Word Structure 5 (1) pp. 52-68
In a canonical inflectional paradigm, inflectional affixes mark distinctions in morphosyntactic value, while the lexical stem remains invariant. But stems are known to alternate too, constituting a system of inflectional marking operating according to parameters which typically differ from those of the affixal system, and so represent a distinct object of inquiry. Cross-linguistically, we still lack a comprehensive picture of what patterns of stem alternation are found, and hence the theoretical status of stem alternations remains unclear. We propose a typological framework for classifying stem alternations, basing it on the paradigm-internal relationship between the features marked by stem alternations versus those marked by affixes. Stem alternations may mark completely different features from the affixes (§2), or the same features (§3). Within the latter, the values may match (§3.1) ? a rare situation ? or be conflated (§3.2). Conflation in turn may involve natural semantic/morphosyntactic classes (§3.2.1), or phonological conditioning (§3.2.2), or be morphologically stipulated (§3.2.3). These patterns typically reveal stems? continued allegiance to lexical as opposed to inflectional organizing principles.
Corbett G (2010) Agreement in Slavic, Glossos (10) pp. 1-61 The Slavic and East European Language Resource Center
Corbett G (1998) Agreement in Slavic,
Baerman M, Brown D, Corbett G (2002) The Surrey Syncretisms Database,

The Surrey Syncretism Database encodes information on inflectional syncretism in 30 genetically and geographically diverse languages, representing such morphosyntactic features as case, person, number and gender. Syncretism is defined as when some set of words fail to distinguish morphosyntactic feature values which we believe, based on language-internal criteria, to be underlyingly present (for example, in Latin, the dative and ablative cases may be distinct in some contexts but collapsed into a single form in others). For each language all instances of syncretism are recorded.

Corbett G, Fraser N (2000) Default Genders, In: Unterbeck B, Rissanen M, Nevalainen T, Saari M (eds.), Gender in Grammar and Cognition 124 pp. 55-97 Mouton de Gruyter
Baerman M, Brown D, Corbett G (2009) Morphological Complexity: a typological perspective,
Corbett G, Baerman M, Brown D, Collier S (2010) Morphological Complexity: introduction. .,
Baerman M, Corbett G (2013) Person by other means, In: Bakker D, Haspelmath M (eds.), Languages Across Boundaries: Studies in Memory of Anna Siewierska. pp. 1-14 De Gruyter
Person is required in an account of the syntax and the morphology of many languages, while others lack it. Between these two types are languages where person lacks unique morphological exponents (suggesting it is not a morphosyntactic feature) but interacts systematically with the expression of other features (suggesting it is a feature). In particular in a range of languages, notably in the Nakh-Daghestanian and Tucanoan families, the expression of gender and person are intertwined. The recurring pattern is that a default form in the gender system (inanimate or neuter) also serves for first and second person. After careful examination, possible analyses without a person feature become less attractive. While these genuinely difficult systems may still lead us to posit a morphosyntactic person feature, we must recognize that its status is intriguingly different from that which is normally found.
Corbett G, Baerman M, Brown D (2002) Domains of syncretism: a demonstration of the autonomy of morphology, In: Andronis M, Ball C, Elston H, Neuvel S (eds.), CLS 37: The Panels: 2001: Proceedings from the Parasessions of the 37th Meeting of the Chicago linguistics Society. Vol 37-2, 385-398 Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society
Baerman M, Brown D, Corbett G (2017) Morphological Complexity, Cambridge University Press
Inflectional morphology plays a paradoxical role in language. On the one hand it tells us useful things, for example that a noun is plural or a verb is in the past tense. On the other hand many languages get along perfectly well without it, so the baroquely ornamented forms we sometimes find come across as a gratuitous over-elaboration. This is especially apparent where the morphological structures operate at cross purposes to the general systems of meaning and function that govern a language, yielding inflection classes and arbitrarily configured paradigms. This is what we call morphological complexity. Manipulating the forms of words requires learning a whole new system of structures and relationships. This book confronts the typological challenge of characterising the wildly diverse sorts of morphological complexity we find in the languages of the world, offering both a unified descriptive framework and quantitative measures that can be applied to such heterogeneous systems.
Corbett G, Baerman M, Brown D (2001) Case syncretism in and out of Indo-European., Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society
CLS37: The Panels. Papers from the 37th Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, 15-28