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Intonation and Prosodic Structure

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Academic Paper


Title: A Realization Optimality Theory approach to blocking and extended morphological exponence
Author: Zheng Xu
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://profile.nus.edu.sg/fass/chsxz/
Institution: National University of Singapore
Author: Mark Aronoff
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.linguistics.stonybrook.edu/Users/maronoff/
Institution: Stony Brook University
Linguistic Field: Morphology
Abstract: Blocking in inflection occurs when a morphological exponent prevents the application of another exponent expressing the same feature value, thus barring the occurrence of multiple exponents of a single morphosyntactic feature value. In instances of extended exponence, more than one exponent in the same word realizes the same feature value. We provide a unified account of blocking and extended exponence that combines a realizational approach to inflection with Optimality Theory (Realization Optimality Theory), encoding morphological realization rules as ranked violable constraints. The markedness constraint *F S bars the realization of any morphosyntactic feature value by more than one exponent. If *F S ranks lower than two or more realization constraints expressing the same feature value, then we observe extended exponence. Otherwise, we find blocking of lower-ranked exponents. We show that Realization Optimality Theory is superior to various alternative approaches to blocking and extended morphological exponence.

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This article appears IN Journal of Linguistics Vol. 47, Issue 3.

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