Allomorphy and Vocabulary Insertion
Maria Gouskova, Jonathan Bobaljik
July 2020

Any theory of morphology must answer two questions about allomorphy: first, what considerations govern the form of morphemes, and second, under what conditions can one morpheme influence the shape of another. Distributed Morphology (Halle and Marantz 1993) allows allomorphy to be conditioned in many components of the grammar: syntax, phonology, and the lexicon. In no small part, the specific pronunciation of morphemes depends on rules of Vocabulary Insertion--the subject of this review. We start with a general review of what allomorphy is, and how it has been classified analytically both in DM and in other theories of morphology and phonology. After sketching some analyses of simple cases of allomorphy, we build towards more complex examples, considering various issues they raise. One is whether, from a structural point of view, allomorphy is conditioned differently by inner vs. outer context. Another is how far away the conditioning environment can be from the affected morpheme. We also review various theory-internal debates within DM, including the role of linear adjacency, how competition for insertion is resolved, and whether this competition is a property of roots. We end with a discussion of broader questions about allomorphy as a phonological and a morphosyntactic phenomenon.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005388
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: submitted to the Handbook of Distributed Morphology, CUP
keywords: allomorphy, vocabulary insertion, distributed morphology, lexicon, locality, morphology, syntax, phonology
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