Take the 2-minute tour ×
Linguistics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional linguists and others with an interest in linguistic research and theory. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've been using the two terms interchangeably. One of my assignments is asking me to identify cases of both suppletion and irregular inflection. I've been going over course notes/google to no avail--they seem like the same thing to me.

The only bit of difference is that one seems to have a more synchronic focus, and the other a more diachronic one...what's up with that?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

irregular inflection

a phonetically similar/same base

German die Herz 'heart' nom.sg. - des Herzens gen.sg., cf. das Ohr 'ear' nom.sg. - des Ohr(e)s gen.sg. (Wurzel 1990 :210)

English ox - oxen or mouse-mice (Bauer, Lieber and Plag 2013: 22)

suppletion

Phonetically different bases (historically these forms belonged to different lexemes)

German gut 'good'- besser 'better'

English go - went

share|improve this answer
    
Ah crystal clear! Thanks! –  RECURSIVE FARTS Feb 6 at 6:06
    
I have a quick follow up question: is suppletion a form of irregular inflection? And are they both forms of allomorphy? –  RECURSIVE FARTS Feb 6 at 7:34

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.