|Morphological Causatives in Moroccan Arabic
| Ayoub Loutfi
|In Moroccan Arabic, morphologically-derived causatives are uniformly formed through the affixation of a consonantal mora in an infixed position. Two accounts have been proposed: the templatic-based account whereby consonant gemination results from a fixed-shape template and the analysis contending that causative gemination succumbs to positional faithfulness effects. In this paper, we diverge from this trend, claiming that the two approaches suffer from a lack of empirical adequacy. As an alternative, we propose an analysis within the theory of Optimality Theory, with the basic assumption being that the linearization of the causative morpheme is instead the result of phonological well-formedness interacting with the morphological process of causativization. An important empirical prediction of our analysis is that the causative affix can neither move to word-initial positions nor word-final positions under the pressure of phonological well-formedness constraints. This is shown to be an example of the Emergence of the Unmarked, wherein the otherwise inactive markedness constraint *COMPLEXONSET in the language bears the burden of the explanation. The strength of the analysis suggested herein resides in the treatment of the infixal process as resulting from simple and universal constraints, primarily achieved through well-motivated demands on prosodic well-formedness without reference to language-particular templatic constraints.
|optimality theory, reduplication, syllable structure, gemination, moroccan arabic, prosodic morphology, nonconcatenative morphology, and morphological causatives, morphology, phonology