Semantic Apparatus – Semantic and Phonological Correlates of Affix Order

Cited by Lee Sonogan


Abstract by Barbara Stiebels, Jochen Trommer

Affix order has been crucial for the development of both, theories of cyclicity (Pesetsky 1979, Kiparsky 1982b), and the extension of optimization to morphology (Donohue 1998, Hyman 2003, Aronoff & Xu 2010; also Grimshaw 2001, Gerlach 2001 on clitics, Trommer 2001b, 2003, 2008 on agreement, and Stiebels 2006 on Mayan agent focus), but raises also substantial problems for both, especially the evidence for flat arbitrary ordering in so-called ‘templatic’ (Simpson & Withgott 1986, Nordlinger 2010, Good 2011) or position class morphology (Stump 1993, Crysmann & Bonami 2016), and the apparent discrepancies between morphological-semantic and phonological affix properties which have led to the demise of classical Lexical Morphology (Fabb 1988, Hay & Plag 2004, Plag & Baayen 2009). Typologically, the motivation for this project is that research on affix order has left huge empirical gaps. While there are excellent case studies on specific aspects for single languages or language families (e.g. Rice 2000, Hyman 2003, McPherson & Hayes 2016), there have been no systematic typological studies relating basic phonological properties of affixes (such as affix size and the alternations they trigger) with affix order. On the theoretical side, the shift from Lexical Phonology to Stratal OT has opened up the central theoretical question how to integrate affix ordering into an optimization approach. This challenge is especially pressing in face of a growing body of cases where phonology at least partially determines morpheme linearization (Kim 2010, Jenks & Rose 2015, Benz 2017). The correlation of semantic and phonological properties, which has been a recurrent topic in the literature on English for decades (Kiparsky 1982a, Hay 2000, Marvin 2003, Bermúdez-Otero 2012), has focused on degrees of compo-sitionality/idiomaticity without explicit semantic analyses. Our expectation is that taking into account phonological and semantic correlates of affix order in tandem, not only leads to principled solutions for cases of apparently arbitrary “templatic” affix ordering patterns (Nordlinger 2010), as argued for Washo by Benz (2017), but also allows for diagnosing hierar-chical relations between prefixes and suffixes which cannot be done by virtue of their linear position. In the following, we discuss the major strands of existing research on affix order, and its connections to phonology and semantics:

Publication: Universitat Leipzig (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

Pub Date: 2021 Doi:

Keywords: Semantics, Phonological Correlates, Affix Order (Plenty more secitons and references in this research article)

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