The prediction of morphemes distribution at surface and abstract level

the case of Embedded Language nonfinite verbs in Pashto-English Bilingual data


  • Arshad Ali Khan
  • Nadeem Haider Bukhari
  • Amina Khalid
  • Syed Nasir Abbass


Embedded Language, nonfinite verbs, Abstract structure, 4-M model, Lexical-conceptual level


The present research explores the election of Embedded Language (EL) nonfinite verbs at surface level with respect to its activation at abstract level. It also investigates the argument that non-finite verbs are elected at lexical-conceptual level. The framework used in the present research is the 4-M model (Myers-Scotton, 2002) of morpheme classification for the prediction of distribution of the EL non-finite verbs at surface level in relation to abstract structure level. This research tries to answer the question: How the EL nonfinite verbs are elected at the abstract level in relation to surface level data? Approximately 8.49 hours bilingual data was collected from a sample of three groups is transcribed and only EL language verbs (nonfinite) are focused and discussed in the present research. According to the classification of 4-M model nonfinite verbs as content morphemes are salient only at lexical-conceptual level to its lemma specification of the speaker’s intended semantic-pragmatic meanings. The nature of the EL nonfinite verbs also suggests its activation as fast and easy with low cost at the abstract level because its integration is made possible by the ML inflection morphemes for tense, aspect and outsider morpheme for subject-verb agreement. On the other hand the EL finite verbs are hard to find in the present data also suggest its complicated morphosyntactic nature. This is the first attempt in Pashto-English bilingual data that the 4-M model of morpheme classification is used to predict a relationship of the empirical data and its election at abstract level. The present study suggest that the model of morpheme classification could also be extended to the morpheme activation (L1 and L2) in second language acquisition.