The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Phonology Circle 11/9 - Laura McPherson

Speaker: Laura McPherson (Dartmouth)
Title: Phrasal morphophonology: Dogon tonosyntax and beyond
Date: Monday, November 9th
Time: 5-6:30
Place: 32-D831

How do we account for phonological alternations at the phrase level, triggered not by adjacent phonological triggers or phrasing, but instead by specific morphosyntactic elements? Taking Dogon tonosyntax as the main case study, I propose a class of phenomena grouped under the heading “phrasal morphophonology” that can result when phrasal phonology undergoes restructuring. I argue that these phenomena are best accounted for in an extension of Construction Morphology, where the surface changes are phonological idiosyncrasies in lexicalized phrasal constructions. I discuss the diachronic development of phrasal morphophonological systems and suggest that Celtic mutations and French liaison may also fall under this heading.