Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 169–218 | Cite as

A Fixed Prosodic Theory of Nonconcatenative Templaticmorphology

  • Adam Ussishkin


This paper presents an alternative to earlier views of Semitic morphology. Data from Modern Hebrew exemplify that output-based prosodic restrictions form the basis of the unusual root-and-pattern behavior generally attributed to Semitic morphology. Rather than relying on idiosyncratic elements such as the consonantal root, this paper argues that universal constraints demanding that prosodic structures meet both minimality and maximality requirements explain the range of prosodic markedness effects observed in Semitic languages. As a further consequence of this approach, constraints on the realization of affixal material are motivated, explaning root-and-pattern morphology as melodic overwriting without recourse to the consonantal root. As a result, Semitic morphology can be viewed as arising from a language-particular combination of cross-linguistic and universal constraints.


Artificial Intelligence Markedness Effect Early View Prosodic Structure Maximality Requirement 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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