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Title:Infixation and segmental constraint effects: UM and IN in Tagalog, Chamorro, and Toba Batak
Authors:Thomas Klein
Comment:Superseded by ROA-659
Abstract:The proper understanding of infixation continues to be a matter of debate among linguists. This paper focuses on the conditioning effects of the segmental phonology on UM and IN in the Austronesian languages Tagalog, Chamorro and Toba Batak. The cross-linguistic comparison shows that UM and IN may be blocked from appearing as infixes in a range of dissimilatory morphophonological environments. The languages differ significantly in terms of the response to the blocking of infixation. The morphological gap must be filled by other means in Tagalog, prefixation with metathesis occurs variably in Chamorro, whereas prefixation with assimilation is preferred in Toba Batak. This typology of responses emphasizes the point that infixation may not be exclusively understood as an instance of Prosodic Morphology, but instead must incorporate morphophonological constraints as well.
Beyond the interest the present comparative approach holds for general typology and Austronesian linguistics, the Optimality Theory (OT) analysis presented in this paper contributes to the ongoing debate concerning constraints and their ranking and evaluation. First, a schema of asymmetrical morphophonological constraints is proposed where segmentally specified affixes are penalized when placed in proximity to certain segments. It is argued that this constraint schema offers a unified understanding of the observed segmental conditions on infixation. As a consequence of employing this schema, it is demonstrated that crucial non-ranking of constraints, a powerful enhancement of the constraint component, is not necessary. The reanalysis of Tagalog presented in this paper shows that infixation in this language does not fully support quantized, categorical alignment constraints, in contrast to the argument in McCarthy (2002). However, the variation data from the author's fieldwork on the morphophonology of UM and IN in Chamorro are shown to provide a fresh, strong argument against gradiency and for the categorical alignment schema.
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:This article has been withdrawn.