Infixes really are (underlyingly) prefixes/suffixes: Evidence from allomorphy on the fine timing of infixation
Laura Kalin
November 2021

Infixation and allomorphy have long been investigated as independent phenomena--see, e.g., Ultan 1975, Moravcsik 1977, Yu 2007 on infixation, and Carstairs 1987, Paster 2006, Veselinova 2006, Bobaljik 2012 on allomorphy. But, relatively little is known about what happens when infixation and allomorphy coincide. This paper presents the results of the first cross-linguistic study of allomorphy involving infixation, considering 51 case studies from 42 languages (15 language families). Allomorphy and infixation interact systematically, with distinct sets of behaviors characterizing suppletive and non-suppletive allomorphy involving an infix. Perhaps most notably, suppletive allomorphy is conditioned only at/from the stem edge, while non-suppletive allomorphy is conditioned only in the surface (infixed) environment. The robustness of these and related findings supports a universal serial architecture of the morphosyntax-phonology interface where: (i) infixation is indirect, involving displacement from a stem-edge position to a stem-internal one, counter to several influential theories of infixation (see especially McCarthy and Prince 1993a and Yu 2007); (ii) suppletive exponent choice is prior to (i.e., not regulated by) the phonological grammar (in line with Paster 2006, Pak 2016, Kalin 2020, Rolle 2021, Stanton To Appear, i.a.); and (iii) realization--including exponent choice and infixation--proceeds from the bottom of the morphosyntactic structure upward (à la Bobaljik 2000, Embick 2010, Myler 2017).
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005581
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Submitted
keywords: morphology, phonology, morphosyntax, infixation, allomorphy, cyclicity
previous versions: v4 [November 2021]
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