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Academic Paper


Title: Prosodic fusion and minimality in Kabardian
Author: Matthew K Gordon
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.linguistics.ucsb.edu/faculty/gordon/index.html
Institution: University of California, Santa Barbara
Author: Ayla Applebaum
Institution: University of California
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Subject Language: Kabardian
Abstract: The Northwest Caucasian language Kabardian displays a typologically unusual process of word formation, whereby two lexical roots fuse to form a single prosodic word whose phonological behaviour is parallel to prosodic words containing a single root. It is shown that this process of fusion, which is subject to a number of phonological and morphosyntactic restrictions, reflects a typologically unusual response to a cross-linguistically common minimal word requirement banning monomoraic prosodic words. Rather than employing segmental lengthening or insertion to ensure that minimality is satisfied, Kabardian chooses to violate the one-to-one mapping between grammatical and prosodic words. A further complication is the scalar nature of minimality in Kabardian: while the impossibility of fusion in certain prosodic and morphosyntactic contexts allows monomoraic prosodic words to surface, a more stringent minimality restriction ensures that all prosodic words have at least one mora.

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This article appears IN Phonology Vol. 27, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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