In spite of the central position that the concept word has among the basic units of language structure, there is no consensus as to the definition of this concept (or network of related concepts). Many perspectives are needed in order to gain even a schematic idea of what words are, how words may be composed, and what relationships there might be between words. Many linguists have put forward frameworks for describing the domain of morphology, each framework proceeding from its author's assumptions, prioritizing distinct formal and functional dimensions, and therefore entering into de facto competition. This book addresses the needs of the language scholar/student who finds her/himself engaged in morphological analysis and theorizing. It offers a guide to existing approaches, revealing how they can either complement or compete with each other and ranks them on multiple continua.
Thomas Stewart teaches linguistics at the University of Louisville. His publications include articles and book chapters on morphology. He has also published on historical and contact linguistics, as well as on teaching introductory linguistics. His dissertation Mutation as Morphology: Bases, Stems, and Shapes in Scottish Gaelic (2004, Ohio State) and subsequent contributions have sought to bring productive, morphologised sound patterns in Celtic into dialogue with the architecture of grammar.