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A recent thread touched on the question of whether Slavic aspectual pairs should be considered part of the same lexeme or not.

I wonder if the same logic can be applied to the principal parts of Latin or (especially) Greek verbs. For example, take the following array of verbs from Greek:

peítho: (present active) "I persuade", pépoitha "I trust, rely on" (perfect active), pépeismai "I believe, trust" (perfect passive)

Is it really clear that these forms constitute the same lexeme, any more than a Slavic aspectual pair like Slovenian postavljati / postaviti ("to place") are the "same" lexeme?

Can "lexematicity" be viewed as a measure of the degree of linkage between forms, rather than a matter of "either-or" connection?

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    Yes. In general -- not just Slavic -- "principal parts" means the variety of stem types that a given word might have. In English there are three principal parts: infinitive, past, perfect participle (be, was, been; go, went, gone). In Latin there are four, which includes a present tense form. Greek and Sanskrit had more, though few verbs had all of the parts. In general, even when the allomorph is totally suppletive (like went for go), it's the same lexeme. Here's a diagram. – john lawler in exile Mar 16 '15 at 3:52
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    What reason would there be not to treat these as forms of the same lexeme? – TKR Mar 16 '15 at 3:55
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    @user8017 I think ultimately the answer will probably come down to the Lexicalist Hypthothesis. It's a fairly major divide within linguistics, and one which cannot be definitively answered. – curiousdannii Mar 16 '15 at 8:49
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    @user8017 One reason is that when in a dialogue you "pick up" a word or phrase the other has used and change its aspect and tempus, you end up using the suppletive form regularly and without even thinking about it, which wouldn't be expected in cases of mere synonimity. – user9315 Mar 16 '15 at 10:17
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    @user8017 As far as I'm aware there isn't any consensus as to whether there are lexemes at all, and thus no failsafe way to know if you have suppletive forms or just somewhat specialised near synonyms, so it's as much a lexicographer's convention as anything else. – user9315 Mar 16 '15 at 23:38

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