Prosodic Templates in Tigre Verb Morphology: A Phonologically Informed Analysis of Causative
DescriptionPublished as Coyote Papers: Working Papers in Linguistics from A-Z
AbstractMansac Tigre, a semitic language of Ethiopia, has a rich templatic system in its verb morphology. Templates interact with underlying roots of two, three and four consonants (radicals) to give a variety of surface forms. In the imperfective aspect, two interesting behaviors are to be found. First, in this aspect, but not in the perfective aspect, inflectional morphology is templatic in nature, so that the type of inflection (e.g. 3rd person, feminine, singular) determines the template instantiated. Second, I will argue, in the imperfective aspect, the appearance of causative is characterized by an operation applied after the template to be instantiated is selected and filled. Thus, it seems, data from Tigre provide an instance of a morphological process operating on the argument structure of a lexical item ("derivation" for those who subscribe to a distinction) which applies after inflectional processes. In particular, I contend that this behavior runs counter to a typology of morphological operations recently proposed in Steele (in prep). Steele's model, Articulated Morphology (AM), makes status differentiations within lexical objects (signs) and explicit claims about the types of operations which can operate on the various levels of lexical object. I claim that the Tigre data provide evidence that this typology is too restrictive and must be extended to accommodate behaviors I cite. The organization of this note is as follows: First I will give background of both the basic templatic system of Tigre and the formal models I will employ. Section 2 gives the Tigre background while section 3 introduces Articulated Morphology and Prosodic Morphology (McCarthy & Prince(1986, 1990)) with a focus to how ideas from these two models are utilized. Section 4 presents the data to be considered and formulates the generalizations which the analysis is to capture. In section 5, I give an analysis of the cited data. Section 6 is a discussion of the implications this analysis has for the Articulated Morphology model. Section 7 contains some concluding remarks.