The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Phonology Circle, 11/7 - Suyeon Yun

Speaker: Suyeon Yun
Title: Opacity and Serial Phonology-Morphology Interaction in Kyungsang Korean
Location: 32D-831
Time: Monday, Nov 7, 5:00pm


Kyungsang Korean shows an interesting noun-verb asymmetry where phonological processes interact opaquely in verbs but transparently in nouns; consonant cluster simplification (e.g., /kaps/ -> [kap] ‘price’) counterbleeds post-obstruent tensing (e.g., /cap+ta/ -> [capt’a] ‘to catch’) in verbal inflections (e.g., /malk+ta/ -> [malt’a], *[malta] ‘to be clean’) but not in noun inflections (e.g., /talk+to/ -> [talto], *[talt’o] ‘chicken’ + ‘also’). In order to explain both opacity and the noun-verb asymmetry, I will show stratal OT (Kiparsky 2000) is not an adequate solution for this puzzle and propose an analysis based on Optimality Theory with Candidate Chains (OT-CC; McCarthy 2007). In this approach, opacity between post-obstruent tensing and consonant cluster simplification will be explained by PREC (IDENT(TENSE), MAX). Adopting Wolf (2008), I will also claim that serial phonology-morphology interactions in candidate chains (Wolf 2008) can explain the noun-verb asymmetry in Kyungsang Korean. Specifically, highly ranked PREC(MAX, insert-affixN), which penalizes a candidate chain with the insertion of nominal affixes before violating MAX, will lead a transparent result in nominal inflections only. In addition, I will lay out a non-opacity account of the same data. Based on the difference in the base form between verbs (A-suffix form) and nouns (citation form), the noun-verb asymmetry in tensification will be explained by phonetic duration preservation of each base.