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Title:Generalized Alignment and Morphological Parsing
Authors:Rene Kager
Abstract: Generalized alignment and morphological parsing


morfpars.ps. --.rtf, --.word

Rene Kager

Utrecht University

This paper addresses the role of word-level prosody in the

overdetermination of morphological structure, focussing on

secondary stress patterns of Sibutu Sama, Diyari, Dyirbal,

and Warlpiri. Stress patterns in these languages are due to

different instantiations of the general constraint format of

generalized alignment (McCarthy & Prince 1993). The paper

has contributes to three issues. First, it presents evidence

for various domains in alignment: (morphological) Morpheme,

Root, and Stem; and (prosodic) Foot and PrWd. Second, it

supports the definitions of PrWd and stem as recursive

categories (McCarthy & Prince 1993). Third, it argues that

pattern variability is due to equal ranking of constraints.

The interest of Sibutu Sama resides in its variable

secondary stress pattern in a subset of prefixed words. This

variability is due to equal ranking of a morpho-prosodic

alignment constraint ALIGN-ROOT-L "all roots must start with

a foot" and purely prosodic alignment ALL-FT-L "all feet

must stand at the left word edge". The interest of Diyari,

Dyirbal, and Warlpiri is that they are minimally different

in their morpho-prosodic alignment constraints, while all

three languages share the constraint configuration ALIGN-


Finally, I show that alignment theory offers a better

understanding of demarcative stress patterns on empirical

and conceptual grounds. Empirically, alignment theory fares

better than rule-based theory in the analysis of variable

secondary stress in Sibutu Sama. In the conceptual domain,

alignment theory offers a unified account of demarcative

stress. This contrasts with the conspiracy-based account of

demarcative stress in standard rule-based phonology, which

is essentially reduce it to an accidental constellation

independent of rules (directional foot construction in some

morphological domain, re-parsings applying to its output).

Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1