Morphological Realization of Nouns: Trends in Actual Usage
Keywords: noun, morphological realization, flexion, productivity
AbstractThe article analyzes morphological realization of Lithuanian nouns. This synchronic work aims to analyze the variation of Lithuanian noun forms and, most importantly, to compare the trends in the usage of forms with codified general language norms. Based on results obtained using a survey questionnaire method, the productivity of noun flexions is studied. The survey is grounded on comparative and analytical-descriptive methods. Quantitative analysis was also carried out to assess the trends. The results of the morphological realization survey on Lithuanian nouns show that the variation of the forms of the analysed part of speech is also typical of contemporary usage. The study revealed that the nouns of mixed declension (i and consonant stem) frequently adopt masculine declension noun flexions, namely, the (i) a stem, which is particularly typical of singular ablative forms. Attention should be paid to the fact that nouns of mixed declension still tend to preserve singular genitive flexion in contemporary usage. Preservation of this flexion is likely to be related to the principle of iconicity. It is important to state that the consolidation of productive flexions of nouns is related to the category of the masculine gender – the unmarked member of the masculine:feminine opposition. To sum up, it may be concluded that normative language publications should be more oriented to the development of natural language and the trends in real usage, and reflect the habits and expectations of the language users.