Folia Linguistica Historica XXII/1-2 pp. 103-135 © Societas Linguistica Europaea WOLFGANG U. DRESSLER - KATARZYNA DZIUBALSKA-KOLACZYK ROSSELLA SPINA 1. Markedness: theoretical background The basic question of our paper is why and how marked phenomena arise in a natural language. The main approach to answering it is to inspect external evidence mainly from diachrony, but also first language acquisition and socio-cultural Variation. The theoretical frameworks are naturalness theory, a building-block model of complexity theory, a semiotic metatheory and the epistemology of functionalism (cf. Dressler 1995, Dressler - Dziubalska-Kolaczyk 1994). Within naturalnes theory, äs elaborated for both Natural Phonology and Natural Morphology in Dressler (1985a, cf. the volumes Hurch Rhodes 1996 and Dziubalska-Kolaczyk 1996), marked corresponds to unnatural. This concept is relative in the sense of "less natural than" (more marked than) and theoretically specified. Within the subtheory of universal markedness, which is a preference theory, marked means universally dispreferred on a given parameter. Within the second subtheory of type adequacy, it means less adequate for a specific language type. And within the third subtheory of language-specific system-adequacy, it means marginal in some respect. For example, unproductive phonological or morphological patterns do not belong to the core of language-specific phonology
folia linguistica historica – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 2001
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