Surrey Suppletion Database

How to cite

Brown, Dunstan, Marina Chumakina, Greville G. Corbett & Andrew Hippisley. 2003. Surrey Suppletion Database. University of Surrey.

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Suppletion is a morphological phenomenon where different inflectional forms are not related phonologically. Mel'čuk defines it in the following way: "For the signs X and Y to be suppletive their semantic correlation should be maximally regular, while their formal correlation is maximally irregular." (Mel'čuk 1994: 358) Russian čelovek (человек) 'person', which has the plural ljudi (люди), is a typical instance of suppletion. Suppletion is found in many inflecting languages, and "increasingly ... is coming to be seen as a clue to the way in which the inflected forms of a word are related to each other paradigmatically ... and are stored in the memory" (Carstairs-McCarthy 1994: 4410). The Surrey Suppletion Database contains information about 34 genetically diverse languages. In 30 of these languages, instances of suppletion were found. For each record we present the phonologically distinct stems that belong to the same paradigm and define the categories along which the suppletion happens.


The database was created for the project 'The notion 'possible word' and its limits: A typology of suppletion', funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board under grant number B/RG/AN4375/APN10619. This support is gratefully acknowledged. In addition to the core project team, several other colleagues contributed their time and expertise on particular languages, and we are extremely grateful to them for their involvement.



Creators:  Brown, Dunstan; Chumakina, Marina; Corbett, Greville G.; Hippisley, Andrew;

Title: Surrey Suppletion Database

Publisher: University of Surrey

Year: 2003