The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Phonology Circle 5/3 - Igor Yanovich and Donca Steriade

This Monday’s Phonology Circle presentation will be by Igor Yanovich and Donca Steriade.

Speaker: Igor Yanovich and Donca Steriade (MIT)
Title: Base priority effects in inflectional subparadigms: evidence from Ukrainian
Time: Monday 5/3, 5pm
Location: 32-D831

We present an analysis of stress in Ukrainian nouns that relies on two hypotheses about inflectional paradigms:

  1. Paradigms have articulated internal structure: in the present case, the plural of Ukrainian nouns forms a distinct subparadigm from the singular. It is separately evaluated by paradigm uniformity constraints (e.g. McCarthy 2005). It also functions as a distinct unit with respect to paradigm contrast constraints (Kenstowicz 2005).
  2. Relations between subparadigms are directional: some subparadigms have priority relative to others in a way that is comparable to the base priority effect obtaining between bases and their derivatives.

In derivational paradigms, base priority refers to the observation that the identity between bases and derivatives is obtained by adjusting the derivative’s shape, while keeping base properties constant (cf. Benua 1999). In a comparable way, we observe that when stress is computed in the inflectional paradigms of Ukrainian nouns, the entire singular subparadigm has priority: stress in the plural forms is adjusted to satisfy conditions of stem identity (within the set of plural forms) and stem distinctness (between the singular and the plural). By contrast, stress in the singular forms is computed as if the plural doesn’t exist. We suggest that the entire set of singular forms functions as a collective base for the plural subparadigm (see also Albright 2005 for related proposals).

Upcoming talks:

  • May 3 Igor Yanovich and Donca Steriade
  • May 10 Donca Steriade

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