Expressing Inflection Tonally


  • Marcel van Oostendorp Meertens Instituut / Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences


In Limburg Dutch, the difference between neuter and feminine agreement on adjectives is expressed by a difference in lexical tone. This paper argues that this distinction is due to a difference in underlying representations and not to a paradigmatic antifaithfulness effect. In particular, it argues for a specific version of REALIZE-MORPHEME, the constraint demanding every underlying morpheme to be present in phonological surface representations. The key argument is that a schwa suffix turns up whenever the tonal change from neuter to feminine is not possible.


dialectology, lexical tones, morphology-phonology interface, Optimality Theory, paradigm uniformity, Dutch




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