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Morphological complexity without abstractness: Italo-Romance metaphony


Loporcaro, M (2011). Morphological complexity without abstractness: Italo-Romance metaphony. Poznań Studies in Contemporary Linguistics, 47(2):177-202.

Abstract

This paper considers some selected cases of stressed vowel alternations arisen from the application of metaphony in Italo-Romance dialects. While similar cases are often reported in the literature, the ones picked up here stand out because they resist, for several reasons, any analysis treating metaphony as a synchronic phonological rule (albeit opacized), deriving the surface alternants from abstract underlying representations. Such analyses, as standardly practiced in the Generative paradigm from the 1960s to this day, would face insurmountable problems in accounting for the morphological paradigms that capitalize on the metaphonic alternants putting them into service as exponents of morphosyntactic categories. Thus, the study of morphological complexity yields supporting evidence for phonological theories like Natural Phonology, which severely constrains the amount of abstractness permitted to underlying representations.

This paper considers some selected cases of stressed vowel alternations arisen from the application of metaphony in Italo-Romance dialects. While similar cases are often reported in the literature, the ones picked up here stand out because they resist, for several reasons, any analysis treating metaphony as a synchronic phonological rule (albeit opacized), deriving the surface alternants from abstract underlying representations. Such analyses, as standardly practiced in the Generative paradigm from the 1960s to this day, would face insurmountable problems in accounting for the morphological paradigms that capitalize on the metaphonic alternants putting them into service as exponents of morphosyntactic categories. Thus, the study of morphological complexity yields supporting evidence for phonological theories like Natural Phonology, which severely constrains the amount of abstractness permitted to underlying representations.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Romance Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism
470 Latin & Italic languages
410 Linguistics
440 French & related languages
460 Spanish & Portuguese languages
450 Italian, Romanian & related languages
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:02 Feb 2012 09:45
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:22
Publisher:Versita
ISSN:1732-0747
Publisher DOI:10.2478/psicl-2011-0014
Related URLs:http://versita.metapress.com/content/120709/ (Publisher)
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-55058

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