Notes on Minimalism

The Operations of Derivation and Affixation

The operations of derivation and morphological spelling on a lexeme are illustrated in the figure below.

Notice the lexeme, located to the left of the illustration. The semantic and grammatical components may change the semantic and grammatical representations of the lexeme and MS-module may alter the phonological representation; however, the integrity of the lexeme's mutually implied semantic, grammatical, and phonological representations is never breached. The lexeme binds sound and meaning together at all times; however, only that component which shares the properties of a representation has access to a particular representation. The direct, mutually implied relation between sound and meaning results from the fact that the base lexeme bears all the meaning and does not surface without a complete morphological and phonological representation, derived or underived. There is no reason to assume from the fact that fully derived words are linguistic signs that the sublexical units in derived words are also linguistic signs, so long as all are attached to a base lexeme.