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Academic Paper

Title: Prosodic fusion and minimality in Kabardian
Author: Matthew K Gordon
Email: click here TO access email
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.


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

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