On morphological alternation and late insertion

Spanish Analogical Strong Preterits under the microscope

Authors

Abstract

This paper discusses morphological alternations in the so-called strong preterits in Spanish. The starting point is the variation phenomenon known as Analogical Strong Preterits, which is characterized by the formation of 3PL on the basis of 3SG, adding the exponent /n/: dij-o-n, instead of general dije-ro-n ‘they said’. Although this is the way in which the 3PL is obtained in the rest of the paradigm, Spanish preterits regularly present the segment -ro- at the left of -n. The varieties with Analogical Strong Preterits preserve the segment -ro- in all the other verbs (canta-ro-n ‘they sang’), but shows this particular form in the case of strong preterits. Within the framework of Distributed Morphology, we explore the morphological alternations found in relation to verbal stems (dec-/dij- for √SAY) and functional morphology (-ro/-o for T/Pers). Our approach focuses on the properties of Vocabulary Items and the locality of terminal nodes for vocabulary insertion, avoiding thus any kind of post-syntactic operation.

Keywords

Spanish, Analogical Strong Preterits, Roots, Morphological alternation, Late insertion

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Published

12-06-2024

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