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Title:On affix allomorphy and syllable counting
Authors:Rene Kager
Abstract: On Affix Allomorphy and Syllable Counting

ROA-88 (13 pages)

allomorph.word6, allomorph.rtf, allomorph.ps

Rene Kager

University of Utrecht


This paper analyses prosodically governed affix allomorphy in

Estonian, arguing that selection of allomorphs depends on the metrical

well-formedness of the complete base-plus-affix combination as

determined in the output. Output targets are stem-foot alignments,

and correlations between stress and syllable weight (Pk-Prom).

Derivational analyses cannot capture this conspiracy since the

principles that determine allomorph distribution are incapable of

'looking ahead' to the output they create. I argue for an analysis of

prosodically governed allomorphy as output optimalisation (McCarthy

and Prince 1993, Mester 1994, Bolognesi 1995, Anttila 1995). For each

form 'Gen' generates all logically possible base-plus-allomorph

combinations as candidate outputs. Among candidate outputs 'Eval'

selects the optimal candidate (c.q. 'optimal allomorph') by universal

output constraints which are ranked in a language-specific manner. The

interest of the Estonian case is that the same prosodic constraints

that are active in selecting the allomorphs are independently

motivated in the stress system (cf. Kager 1994, ROA-35). Prosodically

governed allomorphy is essentially another instance of the emergence

of the unmarked. Wherever the lexicon supplies multiple allomorphs

leading to outputs that are evaluated differently by prosodic

constraints, the allomorphs are selected that best fit the

requirements of prosody.

Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1