Q: term

Vit Bubenik vbubenik at morgan.ucs.mun.ca
Mon Jan 12 20:18:37 UTC 1998

----------------------------Original message----------------------------
I am using the term "trade-off" between phonology and morphology (or
between morphology and syntax) for this phenomenon.
Vit Bubenik, Linguistics, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St.John's,
On Sun, 11 Jan 1998, Larry Trask wrote:
> ----------------------------Original message----------------------------
> I'm looking for a term.  The phenomenon in question is extremely
> familiar, but I don't know of an accepted name for it.
> The phenomenon is this: a linguistic change which simplifies one
> subsystem of a language may complicate another subsystem.
> A typical example is the history of Spanish mid vowels.  Earlier
> Spanish had two low-mid vowels and two high-mid vowels; the low-mid
> vowels were *automatically* diphthongized under stress, while the
> high-mid vowels were not.  But then the two low-mid vowels merged
> with the two higher ones.  This change simplified the phonological
> system by removing two phonemes, but it greatly complicated the
> morphology: the formerly automatic and transparent diphthongizations
> became totally unpredictable and opaque, since some instances of the
> new /e/ and /o/ diphthongized while others did not.
> Does anybody know of an accepted label for this phenomenon, which I
> suppose we might elevate to the status of a "principle"?  If not,
> wuld anybody like to propose one?
> Larry Trask
> University of Sussex
> Brighton BN1 9QH
> England
> larryt at cogs.susx.ac.uk

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