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Introduction

Introduction The last twenty years have witnessed a renewal of interest in STEM ALLOMORPHY, the situation where the base form of a lexeme, to which an inflectional or derivational process applies, does not seem to have a uniform phonology. Whereas the existence of the phenomenon as such is indisputable, the prevailing strategy in the generative tradition had been to treat it as an epiphenomenon to be dealt with by ‘(re)adjustment rules’ (Chomsky & Halle 1968; Aronoff 1976) at the interface between lexical representations and phonology.1 The perspective shifted in the early 1990s with two seminal studies by Aronoff (1992) and Maiden (1992), which both justified the reification of stem alternants as components of a lexeme’s description. Aronoff’s work on Latin conjugation highlighted the theoretical importance of ancient observations on parasitic formation, and established the Latin third (‘supine’) stem as the prime example of a MORPHOME: a morphological object whose distribution can not be explained away by a combination of syntactic, semantic, and phonological conditions. Maiden’s parallel study of the diachronic persistence of morphomic stem alternation patterns in Romance conjugation showed that such patterns could not be treated as purely historical accidents, since they have a lasting influence on language http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Word Structure Edinburgh University Press

Introduction

Word Structure , Volume 5 (1): 1 – Apr 1, 2012

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press
Subject
Articles; Linguistics
ISSN
1750-1245
eISSN
1755-2036
DOI
10.3366/word.2012.0016
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The last twenty years have witnessed a renewal of interest in STEM ALLOMORPHY, the situation where the base form of a lexeme, to which an inflectional or derivational process applies, does not seem to have a uniform phonology. Whereas the existence of the phenomenon as such is indisputable, the prevailing strategy in the generative tradition had been to treat it as an epiphenomenon to be dealt with by ‘(re)adjustment rules’ (Chomsky & Halle 1968; Aronoff 1976) at the interface between lexical representations and phonology.1 The perspective shifted in the early 1990s with two seminal studies by Aronoff (1992) and Maiden (1992), which both justified the reification of stem alternants as components of a lexeme’s description. Aronoff’s work on Latin conjugation highlighted the theoretical importance of ancient observations on parasitic formation, and established the Latin third (‘supine’) stem as the prime example of a MORPHOME: a morphological object whose distribution can not be explained away by a combination of syntactic, semantic, and phonological conditions. Maiden’s parallel study of the diachronic persistence of morphomic stem alternation patterns in Romance conjugation showed that such patterns could not be treated as purely historical accidents, since they have a lasting influence on language

Journal

Word StructureEdinburgh University Press

Published: Apr 1, 2012

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