, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 199–248 | Cite as

Realistic data and paradigms: the paradigm cell finding problem

  • Gilles BoyéEmail author
  • Gauvain Schalchli


Since Blevins (2006), there has been a shift in morphological frameworks away from what he called a constructive perspective towards an abstractive perspective based on data directly available to speakers (i.e whole words).

This evolution towards word-based morphology is part of a more general anticonstructionist movement in social sciences characterised by the quote in (1) about constructive approaches cited by Blevins et al. (2016a):
  1. (1)

    The main fallacy in this kind of thinking is that the reductionist hypothesis does not by any means imply a “constructionist” one: The ability to reduce everything to simple fundamental laws does not imply the ability to start from those laws and reconstruct the universe. In fact the more the elementary physicists tell us about the nature of the fundamental laws, the less relevance they seem to have to the very real problems of the rest of science, much less to those of society (Anderson 1972).

In this paper, we elaborate on Blevins (2006) to define a realistic perspective for the use of morphological data and give an illustration of its place in the emergence of both inflectional and derivation paradigms with the French verbs and the French Ethnics.


Inflectional morphology Derivational morphology Abstractive approach Realistic data Paradigms Paradigm cell filling problem Paradigm cell finding problem 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université Bordeaux-Montaigne & CLLE-ERSS (UMR5263)BordeauxFrance

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