Global Optimization in Allomorph Selection

Alan C. L. Yu

in The Morphosyntax-Phonology Connection

Published in print February 2017 | ISBN: 9780190210304
Published online January 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780190210328 | DOI:
Global Optimization in Allomorph Selection

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The nature of the interface between phonology and morphology has long been a matter of intense debate. One area that has received increased attention in recent years concerns a class of allomorphy called phonologically conditioned suppletive allomorphy (PCSA). This article offers two case studies of PCSA, one from Tiene, a Bantu language, and another from Katu, a Mon-Khmer language. The PCSAs in these languages are unique in that they both involve infixation. Our investigation suggests that a strictly input-driven subcategorization-based approach to PCSA does not offer a satisfactory account of this class of PCSA. Global optimization, which crucially references the well-formedness of output structures, is needed in allomorph selection to complement the often limited selectional power of subcategorization restrictions.

Keywords: Suppletive allomorphy; global optimization; Tiene; Katu; Mon-Khmer; Bantu

Chapter.  6719 words. 

Subjects: Phonetics and Phonology

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