The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Phonology Circle 11/18 - Ryo Masuda

Speaker: Ryo Masuda
Title: The morphophonology of verb doubling in Chechen/Ingush
Date/Time: Monday, Nov 18, 5:30p
Location: 32-D831

As described by Conathan & Good (2001) and Nichols (2011), Chechen and Ingush (Northeast Caucasian) exhibit a case of word-level reduplication, henceforth verb doubling, in which the presence of a clause chaining clitic ‘a on a simple intransitive verb triggers insertion of an infinitival form of the verb (1).

(1) Ahwmad sialxana wa ‘a wiina dwa-vaghara
Ahmed yesterday stay.INF & stay.ANT DEIX-go.WP
‘Ahmed, having stayed yesterday, left.’ (Chechen)

The doubling is blocked in complex verb constructions with a preverbal particle (2), object, or deictic marker in the verb phrase.

(2) Ahwmada, kiexat jaaz ‘a dina, zheina
Ahmed.ERG letter write & do.CVANT book read.PRES
‘Ahmed, having written a letter, reads a book.’ (Chechen)

I argue that this instance of verb doubling is a consequence of a prosodic requirement on the chaining clitic, namely to be enclitic to a non-final stressed element (cf. Good 2005). I then situate the Chechen/Ingush case within a larger body of clitic placement and verb doubling phenomena, whose accounts have included appeals to the syntactic component of the grammar (Franks and Bošković 2001), and discuss consequences for the syntax-phonology interface.