LINGUIST List 14.2552

Wed Sep 24 2003

Qs: Phonological Readjustment; German Homographs

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  1. Ora Matushansky, locality of readjustment
  2. Sonja Haeffner, Homophones and Homographs

Message 1: locality of readjustment

Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2003 20:01:27 +0000
From: Ora Matushansky <>
Subject: locality of readjustment

Dear colleagues,

I'm looking for examples of phonological readjustment rules working
across more than one cyclic boundary.

Imagine that the English verb go consists of two morphemes, the root
and a null verbalizing suffix. Then the change of the stem from go to
wen(d) (assuming that -t is the past tense suffix) is effected by a
morpheme that is not linearly adjacent to the stem but nonetheless is
structrally adjacent to it (in the next cycle up):
	[[ GO + v ] + PAST]

What I am looking for would look like:

	a. [[[ROOT + n1] adj ] n2]: in presence of n2 the root is

	b. [[ASPECT [ROOT + v]] PAST]: the presence of PAST the root
is different

An alternative hypothesis would be, of course, that there are no null
verbalizing, adjectivizing, etc. morphemes. Then the structures that
interest me would look exactly like (a) and (b) but with n1 and v,
respectively, being overt. Here's a hypothetical example:

	c.	wug may or may not be a word in the language L
		[wug + -ik] -> wugik
		[[wug + -ik] + -id] -> wugikid
		[[[wug + -ik] + -id] + a] -> alikida 

It's ok if say, -ik- has also changed to its independently attested
allomorph (e.g. -ma-) or if the entire internal constituent (say
-wugik-) has changed to something else (say, -go-):

	d.	[[[wug + -ik] + -id] + a] -> almaida
	e.	[[[wug + -ik] + -id] + a] -> goida

What I want to find out is (a) is there evidence that readjustment
rules are not unbounded and (b) if the answer is yes and the
boundaries can be established, whether they can be used to argue for
or against the presence of null morphemes in ''underived'' verbs like
go, adjectives like red, nouns like snake, etc.

Thanks very much,

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Message 2: Homophones and Homographs

Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2003 10:21:16 +0000
From: Sonja Haeffner <>
Subject: Homophones and Homographs

Dear linguists, 

I am looking for 1. examples of German homographs relating to
different pronunciations, e.g. <Hochzeit> to /ho:xtsait/ and
/hoxtsait/, and 2. examples of German homophones relating to different
*spellings*, e.g. <Wal> and <Wahl> to /va:l/, and 3. their ratio in
the German lexicon. Is there anywhere a useful (electronic) database
of homophones and homographs?

Sonja Haeffner
- -----------
RWTH Aachen

Subject-Language: German, Standard; Code: GER 
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