The left edge of the word in the Berber derivational morphology
Mohamed Lahrouchi
March 2018
 

In many Berber varieties, causative and reciprocal verbs are built by means of monoconsonantal prefixes attached to a stem. These prefixes are realized as single or geminated depending on the properties of the stem. In this paper, it is argued that an initial templatic site is responsible for the length variation of the prefixes. Under specific licensing conditions, the initial site hosts the causative and the reciprocal prefixes by means of two distinct operations, namely movement and spreading. Moreover, complex combinations of those prefixes (causative + reciprocal, reciprocal + causative) feed apparently unrelated phenomena of selective harmony and dissimilation. They are argued to follow directly from the use of the initial site as part of the verb domain. Handled in syntactic structure, the initial site further allows accounting for the cooccurrence restrictions that the causative and the imperfective markers undergo: it is proposed that the causative takes precedence over the imperfective because it is generated lower in the structure under the vP. The same reasoning holds for the incompatibility of imperfective gemination with the reciprocal marker. It is precisely this type of restrictions that strictly phonological analyses fail to address.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003908
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Glossa: a journal of general linguistics
keywords: causative; reciprocal; harmony; templates; berber, semantics, morphology, syntax
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