Morpheme-Based Templates

Laura J. Downing

in Canonical Forms in Prosodic Morphology

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780199286393
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780191713293 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics

 Morpheme-Based Templates

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This chapter argues for a morpheme-based alternative to the version of the Generalized Template Theory (GTT) of prosodic morpheme shapes critiqued in Chapter 2. In this approach (MBT), canonical shapes do not fall out from the Prosodic Hierarchy. Instead, the basic prosody-morpheme correlation is between the morpheme (Root or Affix) and the syllable. Lexical morphemes (Roots) tend to be branching syllables while affixes tend to be simplex syllables because lexical morphemes license more complex structure than non-lexical morphemes. Derived morphological constructions (Stems) tend to be minimally longer than single morphemes, as morphological branching is optimally matched by (disyllabic) prosodic branching. The first section of the chapter presents the general theoretical motivations for this alternative. The remaining sections provide detailed analyses of processes like reduplication, word minimality, templatic morphology, and hypocoristics, showing how the approach works and how it solves the problems discussed in Chapter 2.

Keywords: Generalized Template Theory; morpheme-syllable correlation; Root; Affix; Stem; branchingness; phonological complexity; reduplication; derived word minimality

Chapter.  26798 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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