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10. Morphophonological Alternations


Subject Theoretical Linguistics » Morphology

Key-Topics grammar, variation

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405198820.2012.00012.x


Morphophonology is the study of how word formation interacts with phonology. The domain of phonology proper is concerned with identifying phonemes, the allophones of each phoneme, and the context in which the allophones appear. For example, [d] and [ð] are both allophones of/d/: [d] appears postpausally and postnasally while [ð] occurs elsewhere. This phonological alternation is generally considered exceptionless, which contrasts it with morphophological processes that have many exceptions. In morphophonology, not only may allophones of the same phoneme be involved in an alternation, but allophones of different phonemes may alternate. So, although [t] and [s] belong to different phonemes they alternate in the morpheme/perßert-/‘pervert’ when it is followed by different affixes:/perßert+ir/‘to pervert,’/perßers+o/‘perverted.’ Morphophonological alternations are quite common in both the derivational and inflectional morphology of Spanish. For instance, the alternation between [t] and [θ] (e.g.,/inyekt+ar/˜/inyekθ+jon/‘inject, injection’) has received attention by researchers ( Harris 1969 ; Núñez 1993 ) as have the [o] ˜ [we] and [e] ˜ [je] alternations (e.g.,/tost+ar/˜/twest+an/, ‘to toast, they toast,’/tjen+e/˜/ten+emos/‘it has, we have’ ( Bybee and Pardo 1981 ; Carreira 1991 ; García-Bellido 1986 ; Eddington 2006 ; Harris 1969, 1977, 1978, 1985, 1989 ; Halle et al. 1991 ; ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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