Cognitive approaches to uniformity and variability in morphology

Cognitive Linguistics 35 (2):167-176 (2024)
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Abstract

This special issue of Cognitive Linguistics reexamines the notions of uniformity and variability within morphological systems from a cognitive linguistic standpoint. It challenges traditional perspectives that regard morphological variability as mere deviations from the norm, suggesting instead that such variability is systematic and shaped by external influences including language acquisition and processing constraints. The contributions in this issue promote a shift from isolated analysis to a holistic view of paradigms, classes, and systems, advocating for a framework where morphological structures are seen as integral to communicative and functional aspects of language. By accounting for the broad adaptive dynamics of language systems, the complex interplay between uniformity and variability is revealed as an inherent aspect of language usage.

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