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

Hiroto Uchihara uchihara at buffalo.edu
Thu Aug 27 12:30:57 UTC 2020

Dear Tim, Mark, Javier, Martin, and Volker,

Thank you so much for your response and information. Then, it does seem
like there is a tendency that vowel-initial and consonant-initial
postposed elements behave differently in terms of integration. It makes
sense for processes such as syllabification, where the integration of
vowel-initial postposed elements may be motivated by the crosslinguistic
preference for syllables with onset, while others, as in Alcozauca Mixtec,
where vowel-initial enclitics appear to 'count' for minimality and
maximality requirements while consonant-initial enclitics do not, don't
seem to have immediate explanations.

I also wonder if preposed elements show this difference in behavior: if
consonant-final preposed morphemes are more tightly integrated into
vowel-final preposed morphemes. Combined with Himmelsman's and others'
findings, I wonder if we can propose a hierarchy of integration: postposed
V-initial > postposed C-initial > preposed C-final > preposed V-final
morphemes, or postposed V-initial > preposed C-final > postposed C-initial
> preposed V-final morphemes, . What Martin says about length may also
factor in.

Best regards,

El jue., 27 de ago. de 2020 a la(s) 05:33, VG (volker.gast at uni-jena.de)

> Hi Martin,
> I am not familiar with this distinction/generalization. As far as I know,
> there is a difference between "stress-neutral" and "stress-shifting"
> suffixes in Germanic languages (we discuss that in König/Gast 2018, Ch. 3).
> Some suffixes are just added to their bases and form a phonological domain
> of their own, e.g. "likeli-hood", "partner-ship", "Wahrscheinlich-keit",
> "Ungereimt-heit". They are sometimes just analysed as phonological words
> (and they are typically of Germanic origin). Other suffixes either attract
> stress ("defizit-är", "Stabil-ität") or are integrated into the
> phonological domain of the host ("solid-ify", "solid-ity"), leading to
> "regular" stress assignment (to the extent that this exists in English).
> They typically seem to be of Latinate origin.
> There may be a certain correlation between the segmental form of a suffix
> and its phonological behaviour; all the German stress-shifting suffixes
> that we list in our chapter start with a vowel. But English also has "-s",
> for instance ("semantics"; well, perhaps that was originally a plural).
> Stress-neutral suffixes often, but not necessarily, start with a consonant
> ("Ungereimt-heit", "likeli-hood" but also "Lobpreis-ung", "apprais-al").
> There is probably a connection between the presence of a vowel, which
> facilitates integration/resyllabification, and phonological integration;
> but I don't think that the rule can be formulated in terms of the
> opposition between vowels and consonants. (And I'm not aware of a different
> treatment for '-ig' and '-lich'). But perhaps you have a different notion
> of integration in mind? (Btw I think Nanna Fuhrhop has worked on this.)
> Best,
> Volker
> On 27.08.2020 11:44, Martin Haspelmath wrote:
> Interestingly, the phenomenon described by Hiroto Uchihara occurs in
> German: vowel-initial suffixes (e.g. -ig) are typically described as
> "integrated in the prosodic word", while consonant-initial suffixes are
> described as "non-integrated". For example:
> *Farbe* 'colour'
> *farb-ig* 'colourful' (resyllabified)
> *farb-lich* 'colour-related' (with devoicing: [farp-lɪɕ])
> If by "integration" we mean syllabification, then this makes very good
> sense, of course. But by "prosodic word", many authors mean a more
> important domain – one that is potentially relevant to a range of different
> phenomena (e.g. stress, assimilation, ...).
> The trouble is that different prosodic word criteria do not always give
> the same results (see Schiering et al. 2010: "The prosodic word is not
> universal, but emergent"). So testing such claims is very difficult.
> It seems to me that in addition to the prosodic structure, it is simple
> length (in terms of number of segments) that plays a role: Longer forms
> have a greater tendency to remain independent, while shorter forms have a
> greater tendency to "attach" to a host in some way.
> Martin
> Am 27.08.20 um 04:13 schrieb Tim Zingler:
> Hi,
> 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.
> Best,
> Tim
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org>
> <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of Hiroto Uchihara
> <uchihara at buffalo.edu> <uchihara at buffalo.edu>
> *Sent:* Wednesday, August 26, 2020 6:29 PM
> *To:* Linguistic Typology <lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
> <lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
> *Subject:* [Lingtyp] Integration of postposed vowel-initial vs
> consonant-initial morphemes
> *  [EXTERNAL]*
> 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,
> Hiroto
> 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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> --
> Martin Haspelmath (haspelmath at shh.mpg.de)
> Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
> Deutscher Platz 6
> D-04103 Leipzig
> &
> Leipzig University
> Institut fuer Anglistik
> IPF 141199
> D-04081 Leipzig
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Dr. Hiroto Uchihara
Seminario de Lenguas Indígenas
Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Circuito Mario de la Cueva
Ciudad Universitaria, 04510, Ciudad de México.
Tel. Seminario:(+52)-(55)-5622-7489
Office: (+52)-(55)-5622-7250, Ext. 49223
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