• A Correspondence Theory of Morpheme Order

      de Lacy, Paul; University of Massachusetts, Amherst (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2000)
      The aim of this paper is to explain how the grammar distinguishes prefixes from suffixes. More generally, a theory that accounts for the variation in direction of attachment in both affixes and bound roots is presented, set within Optimality Theory. The core of the proposal is that direction of attachment is a property of morphemes; specifically, direction of attachment is indicated in the phonological string of an morpheme by an empty position. More formally, I propose that phonological strings can be partial functions from positions to phonological features; 'empty positions' are just those positions which do not map onto phonological features. The formalism behind this proposal is presented in section 2. The empirical implications of this approach are examined in section 3. Two phenomena are shown to follow straightforwardly from the present approach: (I) the implicational relationship between prefixes and suffixes (if a language has prefixes it also has suffixes, but not vice-versa - Hawkins & Gilligan 1988), and (2) the Affix Ordering generalization (that class I affixes must appear closer to the root than class II affixes - Siegel 1974). The typology of morpheme types produced by this theory is also discussed.