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Generalised mora affixation and quantity-manipulating morphology*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 February 2015

Jochen Trommer*
University of Leipzig
Eva Zimmermann*
University of Leipzig


One of the major attributes of autosegmental phonology is the possibility of reducing procedural techniques of morphological exponence to a generalised concept of concatenation. This research programme, which equates the triggers of non-concatenative processes with affixes consisting of incomplete autosegmental or prosodic representations, is called Generalised Non-linear Affixation in Bermúdez-Otero (2012). In this paper, we argue that the Generalised Non-linear Affixation analysis of segmental lengthening by mora affixation extends naturally to subtractive morphology. Defective (phonetically uninterpretable) integration of an affix mora into the prosodic structure of its base triggers deletion and shortening. We show that this approach derives all major types of quantity-manipulating morphology (vowel shortening, segmental subtraction and vowel-length polarity), and thus demonstrate that Generalised Non-linear Affixation extends fully to subtractive morphology, which has been seen as the ultimate problem for a concatenative reanalysis (Anderson 1992).

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We would like to thank the audiences at the 28th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (Los Angeles, February 2010), the 18th Manchester Morphology Meeting (Manchester, May 2010) and the 5th Workshop on Theoretical Morphology (Lutherstadt-Wittenberg, June 2010) for valuable comments and discussion.


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