Deep Morphology

The meaning of morphological categories is reflected in so called grammatemes at the tectogrammatical layer: grammatemes are semantically oriented counterparts of morphological categories such as number for nouns, comparison for adjectives, or tense, aspect and modality for verbs. The system of grammatemes preserves the function/meaning of morphological categories (when representing words with their tectogrammatical lemmas, morphological categories would otherwise get lost at the higher level of abstraction).

The asymmetry between a form (surface morphology) and function/meaning (deep morphology represented by grammatemes) can be illustrated by the following examples:

  • V roce 1348 Karel IV. zakládá form:present-impf  v Praze Univerzitu.
    Eng. In 1348, Charles IV. founds a university in Prague (with the meaning of the past tense and perfect aspect);
  • Na stole ležely (jedny) nůžky form:pl.
    Eng. (A pair of) scissors are located on the table (with the singular meaning).