Morphotactics pp 237-340 | Cite as

Linearity-Based Morphotactics

  • Karlos Arregi
  • Andrew Nevins
Part of the Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory book series (SNLT, volume 86)


Second position (or Noninitiality) effects (Wackernagel 1892; Halpern and Zwicky 1996; Anderson 2005) in which a particular category avoids the leftmost edge of some domain, occur in a wide range of clausal contexts, yielding both V2 phenomena in Germanic and second position clitics in South Slavic, to name but a few well-known cases. In this chapter, we consider an extension of the general phenomenon of edge-related constraints to the domain of word-internal morphotactics, focusing on the repair strategies of morphological Metathesis, of Doubling, and of epenthesis of expletive-like elements. The proposal that second position effects may occur within the word-domain has been explored to some extent in Nevis and Joseph (1992), Embick and Noyer (2001) and Anderson (2005), and we further expand their empirical terrain with in-depth case studies of linear phenomena in the Basque auxiliary. One of the key repair strategies treated herein is displacement of the ergative clitic to the left of the root (otherwise expected as an enclitic), a phenomenon dubbed Ergative Displacement in Laka (1993a), which we call here Ergative Metathesis in an attempt to subsume it under other morpheme displacement phenomena crosslinguistically. We argue that Ergative Metathesis is a morphological metathetic operation, and is demonstrably postsyntactic, operating on a linearized sequence of morphemes.


Modal Particle Dative Argument Vocabulary Insertion Complementizer Agreement Impoverishment Rule 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karlos Arregi
    • 1
  • Andrew Nevins
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of LinguisticsUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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