CRISSP Seminar with Beata Moskal

CRISSP is happy to announce another installment in the CRISSP Seminar series:

Lecturer: Beata Moskal (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt)
Title: Functional vs. lexical: locality restrictions in morphology and phonology
Date & time: Thursday October 13, 2016 – 15.00-16.30
Location: CRISSP/KULeuven Brussels Campus, room 5120
Participation: free

In this talk, I show that a difference in structure between functional and lexical items has a restricting effect on both the morphology and the phonology, crucially drawing on a difference in structure between the two classes, coupled with locality effects as proposed in Distributed Morphology (Halle & Marantz 1993). Specifically, a category-defining node is responsible in lexical items for (i) morphologically, the absence of case-driven root-suppletion, and (ii) phonologically, the absence of dominant prefixes in vowel harmony and stress. In contrast, in functional items, when category-defining nodes are absent, we find both (i) case-driven base-suppletion, and (ii) dominant prefixes.

In order to account for the morphological restrictions in lexical material, I propose that the presence of a category-defining node has a delimiting effect that causes case to be insufficiently local to the root to condition its suppletion. When a category-defining node is absent, as in functional material, case is free to condition suppletion of the base.

In order to account for the phonological restrictions in lexical material, I propose that the presence or lack of a category-defining node determines where left edge prosodic boundaries are placed in words (cf. Selkirk 1986, 1995), which then has the effect that prefixes lie outside the prosodic domain of the root in lexical items, but not in functional material.

Thus, we see that a morpho-syntactically defined locality domain has a restricting effect on both the morphology (suppletion) and the phonology (vowel harmony and stress).

In the final part of the talk, I briefly discuss the use of suppletion as a diagnostic for morphological structure. Based on joint work, I will show that suppletion patterns in free pronouns show that (morphological) case, and to a certain extent (morphological) number, are internally complex categories, and should be represented in terms of containment with more marked values containing less marked values.