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17. English Phonology and Morphology


Subject Linguistics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405113823.2006.00018.x


The title of this chapter poses a daunting challenge, since the morphophonology of present-day English is one of the most intensively studied areas in the whole of morphology and phonology. Indeed, as key innovations in phonological and morphological theory have been introduced, they have frequently been illustrated by means of case-studies from English: this is true not only for classical rule-based generative phonology ( Chomsky and Halle 1968 ; henceforth SPE ), but more recently for connectionist and dual-route approaches to infection ( Rumelhart and McClelland 1986 ; Pinker and Prince 1988 ) and for output-output correspondence within Optimality Theory (OT) ( Benua 1995 , 1997). It follows that we must define our aims somewhat narrowly. First, then, this chapter focuses on interactions between phonology and morphology in present-day English and their implications for the shape of the morphology–phonology interface in natural language. Perforce, we disregard phonology–syntax interactions, although clearly some key facts and concepts in morphophonology have close phonosyntactic analogues. Our data are drawn from both British and American dialects, standard and vernacular, though obviously no variety is exhaustively described. We focus on facts that have figured prominently in the wider theoretical debate, but also pay some attention to phenomena that seem peculiar to English. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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