Book

Canonical Forms in Prosodic Morphology

Laura J. Downing

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780199286393
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780191713293 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199286393.001.0001

Series: Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics

Canonical Forms in Prosodic Morphology

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Prosodic morphology concerns the interaction of morphological and phonological determinants of linguistic form and the degree to which one determines the other. Although prosodic morphology has been the testing ground for theoretical developments in phonology over the past twenty years, from autosegmental theory to optimality theory, this is the first book devoted to understanding the definition and operation of canonical forms — fixed shaped prosody — which are the defining characteristic of prosodic morphology. This book discusses past research in the field and provides a critical evaluation of the current leading theory, the Generalized Template Hypothesis, showing that it is empirically inadequate. The leading theory proposes that canonical shape of morphemes in processes like reduplication, templatic morphology, hypocoristics, and word minimality follows from the canonical shape of stress feet. The central problem with this proposal is that many of the world’s languages do not have word stress. Even in those that do, there is often a mismatch between the canonical stress foot and canonical morpheme shape. The book sets out an alternative approach, namely, that the basic prosody-morphology correlation is between the syllable and the morpheme. This new approach is tested in a cross-linguistic analysis of phonological and morphological forms over a wide range of languages, including several not previously studied from this perspective.

Keywords: fixed shape prosody; reduplication; word minimality; templatic morphology; hypocoristics; Generalized Template Hypothesis; Optimality Theory

Book.  296 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Canonical Forms in Prosodic Morphology

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Prosodic Hierarchy-Based Templates in Canonical Forms in Prosodic Morphology

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Morpheme-Based Templates in Canonical Forms in Prosodic Morphology

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