Templatic and subtractive truncation<sup>1</sup>

Birgit Alber and Sabine Arndt-Lappe

in The Morphology and Phonology of Exponence

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199573721
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199573738 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics

Templatic and subtractive truncation1

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  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology
  • Phonetics and Phonology


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This chapter discusses processes of templatic and subtractive truncation as forms of morphological exponence. Even though there exists a substantial body of research especially on the formal analysis of truncatory processes, patterns of truncation have played a rather marginal role in morphological theory. The chapter proposes that there is clear evidence that both templatic and subtractive truncation are genuine and regular morphological processes. For templatic truncation we argue that the irregularity claim is untenable for a large number of attested processes. The chapter proposes a form-based typology and an optimality-theoretic approach to account for the this typology. For subtractive truncation, we summarise recent developments in optimality-theoretic phonological theory, which suggest that no subtractive formalism is needed to account for the pertinent phenomena. With respect to the meaning of templatic truncation, the chapter argues that the available evidence suggests that truncations are diminutives, which can be accommodated in recent morphological theories of diminutivisation.

Keywords: truncation; subtraction; template; Prosodic Morphology; Generalized Template Theory; Optimality Theory; typology; diminutive; variability

Chapter.  17442 words. 

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology ; Phonetics and Phonology

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