Allomorph selection and lexical preferences: Two case studies

Eulàlia Bonet, Maria Rosa Lloret, Joan Mascaró

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32 Citations (Scopus)


Phonologically conditioned allomorphy is sometimes determined by universal marking conditions derived from low-ranked constraints, which is viewed as an effect of the emergence of the unmarked (TETU) in optimality theory. In this paper we present two case studies that make crucial use of allomorph selection as TETU but also of an additional property of the lexical representation of allomorphs, namely lexical ordering of allomorphs. The first case is the puzzling selection of definite marker in Haitian Creole (analyzed as an instance of anti-markedness in previous OT works), which yields to an appropriate analysis in terms of allomorph ordering. In the second case study, gender allomorph selection in Catalan, we propose a constraint Respect that ensures compliance with idiosyncratic lexical specifications, which further interacts with allomorph selection. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)903-927
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007


  • Allomorphy
  • Catalan
  • Haitian Creole
  • Lexical representation
  • Markedness


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