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Publication Detail
Beware Occam’s Syntactic Razor: Morphotactic Analysis and Spanish Mesoclisis
Abstract
Harris and Halle (2005) present a framework (hereafter, Generalized Reduplication) that unites the treatment of phonological reduplication and metathesis with similar phenomena in morphology, thereby accounting for the apparently spurious placement of the imperative plural -n in mesoclitic Spanish forms such as hága-lo-n ‘Do it!’, in which clitic lo is sandwiched between the verbal stem and the plural suffix. Subsequently, Kayne (2010) has challenged their analysis, arguing that such cases should be treated purely within the syntax. In this paper, we reassess some of Kayne’s arguments, agreeing with his conclusion that the most important desiderata of any general analysis of these sorts of phenomena is restrictiveness. However, we contend that greater restrictiveness can be achieved through morphotactic constraints and repairs in the Generalized Reduplication formalism, triggered by a Noninitiality condition on the positioning of the plural affix, and develop a set of conditions on these operations that situate the locus of interspeaker variation within the postsyntactic component
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