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Candidate chains, unfaithful spell-out, and outwards-looking phonologically-conditioned allomorphy

Abstract

The question of whether phonologically-conditioned suppletive allomorphy can ever be outwardly sensitive has been a key point of contention in debates between parallel and serial theories of morpho-phonology. Purely serial theories bar outwardssensitivity altogether, while parallel theories permit it across the board. A few examples have been reported, demonstrating the need for some degree of parallelism, but are sufficiently limited to suggest that some degree of serialism is also required. This paper advances a proposal regarding when allomorphs compete serially and when they compete in parallel. Specifically, it proposes that there is a connection between outwards-sensitivity and feature mismatches in morphological spell-out, and suggests a revision to the theory of Optimal Interleaving (OI: Wolf in Optimal interleaving: serial phonology-morphology interaction in a constraint-based model, 2008) which captures this connection. A proposal is also made regarding how to model outwards-sensitive root allomorphy under OI’s assumptions.

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Correspondence to Matthew Wolf.

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This paper is better for the valuable feedback I received from the guest editor Jochen Trommer and two anonymous reviewers; from Stephen R. Anderson, Jessica Coon, Karen Jesney, E-Ching Ng, and Jason Zentz; and from audience members at the ‘What’s in a word?’ workshop in Tromsø (September 2010), especially Paul Kiparsky, Tatjana Marvin, Dragana Šurkalović, and Peter Svenonius; at New York University (October 2010) especially Tuuli Morrill Adams, Stacy Dickerman, Gillian Gallagher, Maria Gouskova, Neil Myler, and Kevin Roon; and at Harvard University (February 2011), especially Adam Albright, Gennaro Chierchia, Amy Rose Deal, Patrick Jones, and Maria Polinsky. Special thanks are due to Ellen Woolford and Erich Round for extensive helpful discussion, and to Bert Vaux for pointing out that the treatment of the Armenian data in my dissertation didn’t work, thus prompting the revised line of inquiry pursued here. The views presented here are my own, as are all of the mistakes.

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Wolf, M. Candidate chains, unfaithful spell-out, and outwards-looking phonologically-conditioned allomorphy. Morphology 23, 145–178 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11525-013-9219-3

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Keywords

  • Allomorphy
  • Allomorph selection
  • Suppletion
  • Outwards sensitivity
  • Serialism
  • Parallelism
  • Morpho-phonology
  • Spellout
  • Candidate chains
  • Optimality Theory
  • OT
  • OTCC
  • Harmonic Serialism
  • HS
  • Optimal Interleaving
  • OI
  • Harmonic improvement
  • Local optimality
  • Cyclicity
  • Distributed Morphology
  • DM
  • Deponent
  • Deponency
  • Phonologymorphology interface
  • Root
  • Armenian
  • Kayardild