Ricardo Bermudez-Otero
July 2010

This article summarizes the phonological evidence for the hypothesis that morphosyntax and phonology interact cyclically. My examination of the phonological cycle begins with an attempt to distil the essence of cyclicity from its multifarious incarnations in the literature. In particular, I argue that cyclicity should properly be regarded as an attribute of entire phonological derivations, and not of a subset of rules or processes. The article then pitches the cycle against output-output correspondence as rival accounts of the way in which morphosyntax affects the course of phonological derivations. The discussion focuses on two empirical problems that have straightforward cyclic solutions but oppose intractable difficulties to OO-correspondence: in one case, represented by Quito Spanish /s/-voicing and by English linking and intrusive _r_, the key properties of the base are masked by a phonological process applying in a later cycle; in the other case, exemplified by Albanian stress assignment, the base of an expression fails to surface at all because the expression belongs in a noncanonical paradigm (e.g. one displaying deponency, defectiveness, suppletion, or heteroclisis). The sheer unavailability of suitable surface bases in these situations is only the most acute in a long list of obstacles confronting the theory of OO-correspondence. Strikingly, the hypothesis of cyclic derivation casts light not only on static phonological patterns, but also on phonological variation and change. For example, an important theorem of cyclic theory correctly predicts the diachronic course that analogical innovations take during the medial stages in the life cycle of a phonological process; this is illustrated with English /ŋg/-simplification and /l/-darkening. The theory of OO-correspondence, in contrast, must stipulate the facts in an axiom. The conclusion draws a methodological moral from the evidence surveyed in the chapter.
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Reference: lingbuzz/000965
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Published in: In Marc van Oostendorp, Colin Ewen, Elizabeth Hume, and Keren Rice (eds) (2011). The Blackwell companion to phonology (vol. 4: Phonological interfaces), 2019-2048. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
keywords: cycle, level, stratal ot, lexical phonology, opacity, prosody, oo-correspondence, transderivational, base, sandhi, categorical, gradient, analogy, diachrony, ambisyllabicity, intrusive r, morphophonology, phonology
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