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Augmentation as affixation in Athabaskan languages

  • Sharon Hargus (a1) and Siri G. Tuttle (a1)
    • Published online: 19 November 2002

Athabaskan languages display a remarkable cross-language similarity, yet at the same time the languages of this family differ from each other in restricted ways. This unity and variety provide a useful laboratory for phonological and morphological research. In this paper, we suggest that a certain case of unity which has been analysed as phonologically and morphologically motivated requires a purely morphological analysis.

The case in question is the well-known verbal disyllabic minimality requirement, which has been variously analysed as satisfaction of a disyllabic verb template (Slave; Rice 1990), satisfaction of a monosyllabic prefix-based portmanteau ‘stem’ (Navajo; McDonough 1990, 1996) or the result of stray consonant syllabification in the Minimal Word domain in verbs (Ahtna; Causley 1994). However, when data from other languages of the family are brought into the picture, a different, family-wide analysis suggests itself.

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  • ISSN: 0952-6757
  • EISSN: 1469-8188
  • URL: /core/journals/phonology
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