Element subtraction in Pomeranian and German morphology - The competitive tier
Gertjan Postma
March 2017

Taking new Pomeranian data as a starting point, we propose a competitive vocalic tier on which elements compete for prosodic space, besides the well-known vocalic tier that allows for element conflation. The hypothesis predicts alternations such as the [ɑi]-[ɪ] and [e]-[ɪ] root alternation (German treten-tritt '(he) step(s), Pomeranian gaita-git '(he) pour(s)') (to be compared with Eng. wild-bewilderment). The model allows us to solve two conundrums in German morphology: 1. the "epenthesis conundrum", i.e. the anti-correlation between OCP-driven schwa epenthesis between root and suffix in German (rett[ə]t/*rett versus *rät[ə]t/rät) and root alternations in present tense verbs (alternating verbs): retten-er rettet, raten - (er) rät . Secondly, the model allows us to solve the "imperative conundrum" , the correlation between |A|-subtraction in a subset of alternating verbs (geben-gibt 'give(s)') and ending-less imperatives in German (gib! 'give!'). The model makes an observational generalization over root shortening and subtraction of melodic content, although the model is, as yet, not designed for a full implementation.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003216
(please use that when you cite this article)
keywords: element expulsion, element theory, umlaut, metaphony, vocalic tier, phonology, german, pomeranian, bounded lattice
previous versions: v1 [November 2016]
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