The Bloomfieldian Heritage in Algonquian Linguistics: The Verbal Complex in Innu

In: Faits de Langues
Renée Lambert-Brétière
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Innu, like other Algonquian languages, has complex verbal morphology, and morphemes are often not easily segmentable. Much of the terminology used in Algonquian linguistics was influenced by early Algonquianists, especially Leonard Bloomfield, and morphemes are described in structural terms: Innu verb stems consist of at least two morphemes, an INITIAL and a FINAL. They may also contain a MEDIAL. Following the Bloomfieldian tradition, a distinction was later proposed between PRIMARY derivation for the derivation of a verb stem, and SECONDARY derivation for morphemes that attach to a verb stem to form a new verb. In this article, I shall explain what the verbal complex in Innu is, describe its component morphemes, and discuss the impact of the Bloomfieldian heritage on the comparative use of data from Algonquian languages and more specifically of Innu.

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