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Optimality Theory and Prosodic Morphology

Chapter in book
Authors Laura J. Downing
Published in The Oxford Handbook on Morphological Theory / edited by Jenny Audring and Francesca Masini
Pages 187-211
ISBN 9780199668984
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication New York
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Languages and Literatures
Pages 187-211
Language en
Keywords reduplication, templatic morphology, truncations, concatenative ideal, markedness constraints, infixation, correspondence, alignment
Subject categories African languages, Linguistics


A central concern of Optimality Theory from its beginnings (McCarthy & Prince 1993a, Prince & Smolensky 1993/2004) has been to provide a coherent framework for formalizing the traditional problems prosodic morphology poses for morphological analysis. In this chapter, I first introduce the range of constructions typically analyzed under the rubric of prosodic morphology and the issues they raise for the ‘concatenative ideal’ of word formation (Bye & Svenonius 2012). In the second section, I show how core principles of Optimality Theory (OT) address these issues. I conclude with an evaluation, summarizing both the main contributions of the OT approach to the analysis of prosodic morphology and some unresolved issues.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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