Derivational timing of morphomes: Morphological rule ordering in the Armenian aorist stem
Hossep Dolatian, Peter Guekguezian
October 2021

Cross-linguistically, morphomes are empirically robust but have few derivational analyses. We analyze the distribution of present and aorist stems in Western Armenian, an understudied Indo-European language. We show that across most of the paradigm, the aorist suffix suffix is morphomic, i.e., purely formal. Canonically, the aorist encodes perfective aspect, but it is meaninglessly used in different paradigm cells for different conjugation classes. We analyze the data in Distributed Morphology, a post-syntactic morphological framework. We use node-sprouting to model how the spurious morphomic aorist is generated. Despite the aorist's arbitrary distribution, we find various generalizations on its use across Armenian morphology. Aorist insertion references spans delimited by phases. It applies early in the derivation, and it cyclically interacts with vocabulary insertion. It can feed suffix allomorphy, and feed or bleed morph deletion rules that are readjustment rules. In irregular verbs, the aorist marker is covert but we argue that it feeds root allomorphy and other irregular processes. In sum, the morphomic aorist is well-integrated into Armenian morphotactics, and morphomic nodes interact with other morphological operations.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006241
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: In Review
keywords: morphome; stem; aorist; distributed morphology; allomorphy; cyclicity; timing, morphology
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