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LINGUIST List 22.3025

Tue Jul 26 2011

Diss: Morphology/Phonology: Jaafar: 'Prefixation and Reduplication ...'

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        1.     Sharifah Raihan Syed Jaafar , Prefixation and Reduplication in Malay: An optimality theoretical account

Message 1: Prefixation and Reduplication in Malay: An optimality theoretical account
Date: 26-Jul-2011
From: Sharifah Raihan Syed Jaafar <raihansyedjaafaryahoo.co.uk>
Subject: Prefixation and Reduplication in Malay: An optimality theoretical account
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Institution: Lancaster University
Program: Department of Linguistics and English Language
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2011

Author: Sharifah Raihan Syed Jaafar

Dissertation Title: Prefixation and Reduplication in Malay: An optimality theoretical account

Linguistic Field(s): Morphology

Subject Language(s): Malay (mly)
                            Negeri Sembilan Malay (zmi)
                            Malay, Standard (zsm)

Dissertation Director:
Wyn Johnson
Francis X Katamba
Kevin Watson

Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis investigates the morphology-phonology interface in Malay. The
work is largely a corpus-based reanalysis of prefixation and reduplication.
Based on two large different written corpora of Standard Malay (henceforth
SM), the analysis permits us to make reliable and robust generalizations
about how the language actually works. The data reveal that the language
has a distinct co-existing phonological system. I will show that these
co-existent grammars can be handled with Optimality Theory (henceforth OT),
specifically in co-phonologies.

The reanalysis of prefixation places Malay in a wider context and examines,
cross-linguistically, issues related to voicing and nasality. It is shown
that nasal substitution, which is regularly used to eliminate nasal and
voiceless obstruent clusters, fails to occur in some prefixed words. In the
analysis, I propose that non-native words are not subject to the same
phonological requirements as those imposed on native words. The constraint
rankings must therefore be different from those found in native words which
result in the blocking of nasal substitution at prefix-root junctures. The
application of nasal substitution at prefix-prefix junctures is mainly
determined by morphological factors rather than phonetic factors, due to a
morphology-phonology interface constraint, i.e. EDGE-INTEGRITY.

The investigation of reduplication deals with total, partial and affixal
reduplication. A recent theory of prosodic morphology - namely the
Morpheme-Based Template or MBT (Downing 2006), motivated within OT (Prince
& Smolensky 1993) - is applied to organize the morphological and prosodic
factors that condition the size of prosodic morphemes (ibid.: 1). In the
analysis, I propose that total and affixal reduplication are best treated
as compounding, rather than affixation, due to the disyllabic minimality
condition. Considering the Perak dialect, light and heavy reduplication
have been captured by associating each morphological construction with a
different co-phonology.

This study also examines dialectal variation, comparing SM with three
non-standard dialects with respect to prefixation. The analysis discovers
some significant facts about the language. Since both voiceless/voiced
obstruents undergo nasal substitution, the *NC̀¥ constraint has been replaced
by a CRISP-EDGE[s] constraint. Nasal deletion and nasalisation are also the
strategies used to eliminate nasal and voiceless obstruent clusters. The
different strategies applied can be satisfactorily explained in OT with its
variable constraint rankings.

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