This subproject studies the role of Phonology and Semantics for the linearization of affixes.

This project aims at investigating both  phonological and semantic correlates of affix order to gain new insights into the rules governing affix order. We expect that investigating phonological and semantic correlates in tandem provides new solutions to cases of apparently arbitrary affix ordering patterns that have previously been analysed by powerful mechanisms like templatic (Simpson & Withgott 1986, Nordlinger 2010, Good 2011) or position class morphology (Stump 1993, Crysmann & Bonami 2016). Moreover, integrating both semantic and phonology allows for diagnosing hierarchical relations between prefixes and suffixes which cannot be done by virtue of their linear position.

The empirical goal of this project is a broad typological study of affix order which integrates both perspectives, semantics and morphophonology, and substantially extends the level of grammatical granularity in cross-linguistic comparison beyond the standard of existing studies.  Our expectation is that the integrated evaluation of typological evidence from phonology and semantics contributes to a better empirical basis for cyclic optimization effects in phonology, morphology and semantics. Theoretically, we aim at the first systematic study of  affix ordering in a lexical Stratal OT-account focusing on cases of variable morpheme order corresponding to both phonological and semantic factors for which there have been uncovered recently a rich array of additional cases (Kim 2010, Gowda 2014, Jenks & Rose 2015, Benz 2017, Newell et al. 2018).


enlarge the image: Affix orders (Symbolic picture); Photo: Colourbox
Affix orders (Symbolic picture); Photo: Colourbox