Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Prosodic conditions on allomorph selection in Dutch derivational morphology

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Carol Fehringer



This paper examines the distribution of schwa-initial versus schwa-less allomorphs in specific areas of Dutch derivational morphology, with particular reference to Shannon's (1991) argument that schwa epenthesis is motivated by the need to improve poor syllable contacts. The present paper makes two basic claims. First, although optimization of syllable contacts may play a role in certain segmental constraints on the distribution of schwa, its main motivation is prosodic. That is to say, schwa-less suffix allomorphs follow a branching foot. If the foot is non-branching, schwa is inserted as a linking element to make it branch. Furthermore, it is also argued that monosyllabic feet can be branching, so that “heavy” syllables of this type pattern in the same way as two syllables. The second claim made here is that these prosodic conditions on schwa allomorphy are best formulated not in terms of a rule but rather as a schema in the sense of Bybee and Slobin 1982.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Fehringer C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Germanic Linguistics

Year: 2003

Volume: 15

Issue: 4

Pages: 297-324

Print publication date: 01/12/2003

Date deposited: 13/12/2007

ISSN (print): 1470-5427

ISSN (electronic): 1475-3014

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S1470542703000321


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric