[Lingtyp] Integration of postposed vowel-initial vs consonant-initial morphemes

Tim Zingler timzingler at unm.edu
Thu Aug 27 02:13:39 UTC 2020


my dissertation looks at wordhood (or rather, the problems with it) cross-linguistically, and the facts you report are among the kind of phenomena that I was looking for in grammars. My sample contains 60 unrelated languages, but I do not recall a single grammar discussing such an issue at any length. So, I would venture to say that they are not commonly reported, although I should also highlight that theoretical approaches to prosodic wordhood will cite sporadic examples of this kind. (The dissertation should be done later this fall. I would be happy to send out the final version).

More generally, to the extent that the situation you describe falls within the domain of syllabification, that is a phenomenon that gets surprisingly little attention as an indicator of wordhood, both in grammars and in theoretical works.



From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of Hiroto Uchihara <uchihara at buffalo.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, August 26, 2020 6:29 PM
To: Linguistic Typology <lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
Subject: [Lingtyp] Integration of postposed vowel-initial vs consonant-initial morphemes


Dear all,

I'm aware of the asymmetry between the preposed and postposed morphemes in terms of their integration into the prosodic constituent with the stem (Himmelman 2014; Asao 2015), but is anyone aware of the difference in the level of integration between the vowel-initial vs consonant-initial postposed morphemes (suffixes or enclitics)?

I have been observing that this might be the case in a couple of languages, including Teotitlán Zapotec and Alcozauca Mixtec. For instance in Teotitlán Zapotec, vowel-initial enclitics are clearly within the domain of syllabification, while consonant-initial enclitics are not. In Alcozauca Mixtec, it might be the case that vowel-initial enclitics are incorporated into the prosodic word, while consonant-initial enclitics are not. Is this something commonly reported in the literature?

I would appreciate any insights.

Best regards,

Asao, Yoshihiko. 2015. Left-Right Asymmetries in Words: A Processing-Based Account. Ph.D. dissertation, SUNY Buffalo
Himmelmann, Nikolaus. 2014. Asymmetries in the prosodic phrasing of function words: Another look at the suffixing preference. Language 90(4). 927–960.
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