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Gaps and repairs at the phonology–morphology interface

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 February 2007

University of Tromsø


The paper discusses phonologically motivated gaps in inflectional paradigms. A model is offered in which the appearance of gaps is based on a tension between markedness constraints, faithfulness constraints, and constraints which require the expression of morphological categories. After presenting the model, additional implications are analyzed. Situations in which the same problem has different solutions in different morphological contexts are predicted insofar as constraints requiring the expression of different categories can vary in their ranking relative to some faithfulness constraint. Hence, the same phonotactic problem can yield a gap in one situation and a repair in another. This prediction is illustrated and further details of the prediction are explored, including the identification of a situation requiring a more restrictive version of the model. This is achieved by drawing on Smith's (2001) proposal that faithfulness constraints can be indexed to lexical categories to model this situation.

Research Article
2007 Cambridge University Press

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For helpful feedback on various aspects of this work, I'm grateful to audiences at the Manchester Phonology Meeting 13 (May 2005) and NELS 36 (November 2005). This work has also benefitted from helpful conversations or correspondence along the way with Adam Albright, Helene Andreassen, Michael Becker, Sylvia Blaho, Patrik Bye, Maghiel van Crevel, Andrew Garrett, Dafna Graf, Jesús Jiménez, Martin Krämer, Gjert Kristoffersen, Maria-Rosa Lloret, Ove Lorentz, John McCarthy, Bruce Morén, Tore Nesset, Andrew Nevins, Joe Pater, Péter Rebrus, Jennifer Smith, Rint Sybesma, Miklós Törkenczy, Christian Uffmann, Matt Wolf and Moira Yip. I'm also grateful for the input of two anonymous Journal of Linguistics reviewers and Nigel Fabb. This paper supersedes Rice (2006b).