Process-morpheme stems

Spike Gildea spikeg at OWLNET.RICE.EDU
Wed Nov 1 14:19:23 UTC 1995

One possible process-moprpheme stem: one of the allomorphs of the root _to_
'go' in Carib of Surinam is either a velar frixative or simple vowel length
on the vowel of the prefix (data from Berend Hoff's 1968 _The Carib
Language_, p. 168 for the form w/ [x], p. 66 for discussion of the general
alternation between the sequence $x and $$ before [s]).

/w$-to-ya/ --> [w$xsa] ~ [w$$sa] 'I go' ($ = unrounded high central vowel)
/m$-to-ya/ --> [m$xsa] ~ [m$$sa] 'you go'


While SYLLABLE reduction is a regular process in Carib of Surinam (Gildea
1995, IJAL article on the phenomenon in the Cariban family), this
particular root is idiosyncratic in that it is one of only two monosyllabic
roots that reduce, and also in that most syllables with mid-vowels are not
subject to reduction.  Anyway, while there are reasons to believe that the
underlying form of the root is not simply a process, in at least one
allomorph, the process of lengthening in the prefix vowel is sometimes all
that identifies the root.


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