|Title:||A Correspondence Theory of Morpheme Order|
|Authors:||Paul de Lacy|
|Abstract:||A Correspondence Theory of Morpheme Order
The aim of this paper is to explain how the grammar distinguishes prefixes from suffixes. More generally, a theory that accounts for the variation in direction of attachment in both affixes and bound roots is presented, set within Optimality Theory.
The core of the proposal is that direction of attachment is a property of morphemes. Specifically, direction of attachment is indicated in the phonological string of a morpheme by an 'empty position'. To put this proposal more formally, phonological strings can be partial functions from positions to phonological features; 'empty positions' are just those positions which do not map onto phonological features.
Correspondence relations can hold between input empty positions and output positions. Variation in placement of empty positions and in the ranking of correspondence constraints not only accounts for variation in direction of attachment, but sheds light on the prefix-suffix asymmetry (if a language has prefixes, it also has suffixes, but not vice-versa) and on the Affix Ordering Generalisation.