Publication Date

January 1999

Journal or Book Title

The Prosody-Morphology Interface


This article is largely based on the more extensive study McCarthy & Prince (1995), but includes significant further analysis of the typology of reduplication-phonology interactions and new discussion of the connection between base-reduplicant identity and Generalized Template Theory (McCarthy & Prince 1994), which eliminates the template as a unitary linguistic object.

Base-reduplicant Identity is accomplished through the same formal types of constraints as input-output Faithfulness, via the theory of correspondence (McCarthy & Prince 1994, 1995), which provides a general means of regulating similarity between linguistic representations. Phenomena described as over- and under-application, where base-reduplicant identity effects come in conflict with and over-ride otherwise systematic phonological regularities, follow from the ranking of base-reduplicant identity constraints among the structural (markedness) constraints and input-output faithfulness constraints familiar from other work. One basic prediction is that under-application is not a primitive type of interaction. Another is that the base itself may be modified in order to increase identity, a kind of 'back-copying' that is unthinkable in most previous views of reduplication. Cases exemplifying this phenomenon are examined and shown to provide significant difficulties for serialist copying theories.

It is proposed that all templatic effects come from the 'emergence of the unmarked' ranking pattern. The one irreducible fact about a reduplicative morpheme is its position in the morphological hierarchy (as affix, stem, etc.): from constraints on the morphology-prosody interface (e.g. Stem aligns with Prosodic Word) and from constraints on the realization of prosodic categories (e.g. Foot-Binarity), the shape requirements follow. It is shown that this view intriniscally limits the ways the base may copy the reduplicant: templatic requirements may never be back-copied to the base.

The goal of the theory of Prosodic Morphology is to provide independent, general explanations for the properties of phenomena like reduplication, infixation, root-and-pattern morphology, observed word minima and other restrictions on canonical form. This article aims to contribute to that goal by developing the theory of reduplication from tools of wide applicability in linguistic analysis: correspondence, faithfulness, alignment.