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83. Paradigms

Adam Albright

Subject Theoretical Linguistics » Phonology

Key-Topics formal grammars

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184236.2011.00085.x


Morphological paradigms are a mainstay of traditional descriptions of inflectional systems and of diachronic change. Only in recent years, however, have paradigms played a formal role in the grammatical analysis of phonological systems, in the form of correspondence constraints and contrast constraints on paradigmatically related forms. In this chapter I review some of the evidence that has been taken to indicate that paradigm structure plays an active role in synchronic phonology, and discuss some of the grammatical mechanisms that have been proposed to capture such effects, focusing especially on work within Optimality Theory (OT: Prince and Smolensky 2004 ). It must be acknowledged at the outset that one cannot meaningfully discuss phonological paradigm effects without a precise definition of “paradigm.” I begin by adopting a very general and widely assumed definition: a paradigm is the exhaustive set of inflected forms that share a single root or stem - e.g. inflected case and number forms of a noun, or person, number or tense/aspect/mood forms of a verb. In some cases, phonology treats all inflected forms of a root alike, and this broad definition suffices. In many cases, however, it is necessary to restrict the domain of discussion to a specific subset of inflected forms that constitute a local subparadigm - e.g. the set of verb forms that share present tense subjunctive ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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