From a structuralistic point of view, a definition of the concept grammatical category necessarily requires a description of its semiotic status. In order to achieve this aim, several conceptions about minimum-sign expression are reviewed. After having analyzed phonic, syntagmatic (either in pure or mixed form) and other non-phonological (as Hockett's, 1961) theories, it is argued that minimum-sign expression-form is not phonic but minimum-sign expression-substance is. This interpretation fits in with Hjelmslev's (1928) description of morphemes expression, and Hockett's (1958) and Lyons' (1968) accounts of the relations between morphemes and morphs. As conclusion, the entity minimum-sign (morpheme) is claimed to be the semiotic means by which grammatical categories perform their function in language.
Categorías morfológicas; Morfema; Significante; Morfología; Morfofonología
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