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11 - The Morphophonology of Chinese Affixation

from Part Three - Phonetic-phonological Issues in Chinese

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 August 2022

Chu-Ren Huang
Affiliation:
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Yen-Hwei Lin
Affiliation:
Michigan State University
I-Hsuan Chen
Affiliation:
University of California, Berkeley
Yu-Yin Hsu
Affiliation:
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
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Summary

This chapter synthesizes the alternation patterns in the morphophonology of Chinese affixation, and analyzes rime change (变韵 biànyuùn) mutation-like phenomena in terms of featural affixation. The main goal is to demonstrate that the paucity of affixation in Chinese languages/dialects does not render Chinese alternations less relevant to typological and theoretical pursuits. Two areas of morphophonology are examined to illustrate how phonetics/phonology interact with morphology under Chinese affixation: unexpected affixed outputs and the phonological realizations of featural affixes. Case studies of unexpected morphophonological outputs and unfaithful parsing of some root/affix features are reviewed, and the seemingly exceptional cases are explained by preservation of phonological/phonetic contrasts within the root-diminutive morphological paradigm and/or by morphological, prosodic and segmental principles and restrictions. An overview of the typology and characteristics of Chinese featural affixes is presented. The analytical approach rests on the theoretical underpinnings of non-linear phonology, the item-and-arrangement morphological model, and the notion of contrast preservation.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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