Heidi Harley
In Semantics: An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning, Volume 3. C. Maienborn, K. von Heusinger and P. Portner, eds., pp 2151-2172. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Publication year: 2012

This article introduces the grammatical framework of Distributed Morphology (DM), with special attention to the implications of the framework for semantic interpretation. The derivation of a sample sentence is given, illustrating the dissociation between the semantically contentful abstract units which are the input to syntactic and semantic composition, and the phonologically contentful Vocabulary Items which compete to realize them. The central assumptions of the framework are contrasted with those of more established Lexicalist approaches, particularly with respect to the predictions for bracketing paradoxes, the Mirror Principle and the status of lexical roots. Areas in which Distributed Morphology has developed semantic proposals are described, including argument structure operations, idiomatic interpretation, the interpretation of nominal features, and the nature of on-line speech errors.