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Title:Parallelism and Planes in Optimality Theory: Evidence from Afar
Authors:Sandra Lee Fulmer
Comment:U. of Arizona
Abstract:Parallelism and Planes in Optimality Theory: Evidence from Afar

Sandra Lee Fulmer
University of Arizona

In this dissertation I show that the representations in Optimality
Theory must be extended to allow multiple planes. The variable-position
affixes in Afar occur as either prefixes or suffixes depending on the
initial segment of the verb root. If the root begins with [i], [e(e)],
[o(o)] or [u], the affix is a prefix (e.g., t-okm-e# (2-eat-perf) 'You
(sg.) ate'); if it begins with [a] or a consonant, the affix is a suffix
(e.g., rab-t-e# (die-2-perf) 'You died'). Additionally, plural not only
appears as a prefix or a suffix, but when a suffix it can either precede or
follow aspect (rab-n-e# (die-pl-perf) 'I died' vs. rab-e#-n (die-perf-pl)
'They died'). A parallel model in Optimality Theory is unable to account
for the different order of affixes in forms such as rab-n-e# vs. rab-e#-n.
The Multiplanar Model, which posits that output representations consist not
only of a word plane but also an affix plane is able to account for this
data. The representations for the two forms are: [y-e-n], [rab-e-n] and
[n-e], [rab-n-e]. In the first case, plural is specified as the rightmost
morpheme by morphological constraints. Even though /y/, the third person
marker, cannot surface on the word plane, it satisfies ONSET on the affix
plane. This contrasts with the second case, where ONSET, being higher
ranked than PLURAL (R), requires that plural occurs to the left of aspect
to fill the onset position on the affix plane. I then show a serial
monoplanar model can also account for this data. Finally, I compare the
serial and multiplanar models, arguing that phonological evidence supports
the Multiplanar Model.
Article:Version 1