This volume has an innovative feature: it does not consider the major task of morphology to be the classification of words into "parts of speech." On the contrary it is based on the assumption that morphology is a dynamic linguistic component: a system of (morphological) rules that acts on the level of words which are represented in the lexicon. Simple words are "represented", that is, memorized into the lexicon that every native speaker has, complex words are created by a set of Word Formation Rules. The book deals therefore with basic notions such as "morpheme", "words" on one end and "word formation rules", "restrictions", "principles" on the other. Problems connected with derivation (prefixation and suffixation), inflection, and compounding are discussed at length together with the model in which all these processes are to be organized in order to account for the set of complex words and their structure. The notions of "head", "adjacency", the hypothesis of binary branching morphological structure, bloking, the hypothesis of lexical integrity and many other issues are presented in a clear way and verified on an huge amount of evidence, mainly from Italian but also from a variety of other languages. Given the introductory nature of this book, it may also be useful to linguists working in other areas or people working in other fields that are related to language, such as psychologists, cognitive scientists, computer scientists, and so on.
Sergio Scalise is a full professor of General Linguistics at the University of Ferrara.