I was trying to understand how variance and invariance in inflection is classified in linguistics. (Curiously I found this redirect page on wikipedia but no dedicated article.)

What I mean is you can have parts-of-speech, you can have grammatical categories, but formally how would a property like inflection being variant or invariant be classified? For example, in traditional grammars number and gender would be considered categories but variance seems like -as some authors use it- a possible extension to both categories (you could have the singular/plural/invariant or masculine/feminine/invariant).

  • "property like inflection"?? Are you talking about word formation? If there is no variant, the word is invariant.
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 22, 2022 at 15:09
  • @Lambie read the example, how is variant/invariant classified in itself? Is it called a category, a trait, what is it called? And by comparison, there should be other such dichotomies that fall under a larger set with its own taxonomy. So what is that taxonomy? If derivation, composition are usually called "word formation"; categories of inflection are usually called "grammatical categories". Under what taxonomy would variance/invariace be classified (and what other comparable traits are there in that taxonomy)?
    – bad_coder
    Commented Oct 22, 2022 at 15:21
  • @Lambie this is a formal grammar question, in that variance/invariance in traditional grammars is mentioned but never put into a bag of comparable "properties/traits" (and the question is what would that bag of "properties/traits" be called grammatically, formally)?
    – bad_coder
    Commented Oct 22, 2022 at 15:24
  • 2
    First explain what you mean by variance / invariance. Don't tell us to read some other web page, you explain what you want to know.
    – user6726
    Commented Oct 22, 2022 at 15:35
  • I didn't find time to revise the question today, I will edit it soon.
    – bad_coder
    Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 4:38


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.