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Transderivational identity

Laura Benua, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This dissertation develops the hypothesis that morphologically-related words are required to be phonologically identical by ranked and violable constraints. Pairs of surface forms are linked by a transderivational or output-to-output (OO) correspondence relation. Through ranking, constraints on the OO-correspondence relation may force a derived word to deviate from the canonical surface patterns of the language in order to be more like its output base. This theory obviates the traditional analysis that deviant phonology in complex words is the product of cyclic derivation. Given transderivational relations, cyclic effects are produced by constraint interaction in nonprocedural Optimality Theory. Cyclic effects are better understood as misapplication identity effects, similar to the over- and underapplication phenomena observed in reduplicated words. Phonological processes may overapply (take place where they are not properly conditioned) or underapply (fail to apply where properly conditioned) to achieve surface identity of paradigmatically-related words. Constraints that demand identity in paradigms interact directly with phonological markedness constraints and input-output faithfulness requirements. When OO-correspondence constraints take precedence, phonology misapplies. Three case studies are presented. The Austronesian language Sundanese shows an overapplication pattern, and Tiberian Hebrew demonstrates underapplication identity effects. In both cases, paradigmatic identity is achieved at the cost of greater markedness in surface forms. Both of these languages also show that paradigmatic identity is sacrificed when it would produce too marked a structure, providing support the claim that OO-correspondence constraints are ranked in a fixed, monostratal grammar. The study of English paradigms presents a theory of phonological classhood. Two arbitrarily-defined classes of affixed words participate in different transderivational identity effects. Each affix class triggers a distinct OO-correspondence relation governed by its own set of faithfulness constraints. All class-specific phonological behavior follows from the ranking of the two sets of OO-correspondence constraints. In this tranderivational theory, phonology is sensitive to morphology because phonological faithfulness relations hold over paradigmatically-related words. There are no cycles or levels of derivation. Complex words, like simplex words, are derived in a parallel grammar, without any intermediate stages.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Benua, Laura, "Transderivational identity" (1997). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9809307.