Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session
24.961 or equivalent
In 24.962, we will focus primarily on phonological phenomena that are sensitive to morphological structure, including base-reduplicant identity, cyclicity, level ordering, derived environment effects, opaque rule interactions, and morpheme structure constraints. In the recent OT literature, it has been claimed that all of these phenomena can be analyzed with a single theoretical device: correspondence constraints, which regulate the similarity of two lexically related forms (such as input and output, base and derivative, base and reduplicant).
Correspondence theory has its roots in the 1970s, when linguists like Alan Sommerstein, Paul Kiparsky, Morris Halle and Jay Keyser, Ronnie Wilbur, Sandy Chung, Nick Clements, Juliette Levin and Luigi Burzio were led to formulate conditions mandating recoverability of the input or similarity between related forms in reduplication. At the same time, Paul Kiparsky, Morris Halle and Jay Keyser proposed mapping conditions involving the correspondence between the rhythm of a line of verse and the stress pattern of the words filling the line.
Correspondence has become a central part of phonological theory in OT, where correspondence (aka faithfulness) constraints were used first to define limits within which markedness constraints will affect an input. Extensions of correspondence provide the basis of the OT treatment for phenomena such as: cyclicity, level ordering, derived environment conditions, opaque rule interactions, base-reduplicant identity, vowel harmony and others. An idea that is fundamentally new (McCarthy and Prince, 1995) is that the same types of constraints (e.g. MAX segment and Ident feature) can be used to link different pairs of representations (e.g. a lexical input to its output correspondent; and the reduplicant to its surface base).
Despite heavy reliance on an ever-expanding set of correspondence conditions, basic issues in the theory of correspondence remain unresolved and sometimes unaddressed. Among these are the following:
This course does not promise to deliver answers to all these questions but perhaps some progress on all fronts will emerge from the discussion.
What the course will deliver is: