Featural Affixes:
The Morphology of Phonological Features

A research project funded by the DFG
Department of Linguistics, Leipzig University

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This project investigates `featural affixes': subsegmental and suprasegmental affixes which surface (partially or completely) as (a) phonological feature(s) of (a) segment(s) of the base word. In procedural terms, this refers to any every morphological construction which involves the partial phonological modification of base segments. Featural affixation is attested for virtually all phonological dimensions (prosodic length, suprasegmental tone, and primary/secondary features of vowels and consonants).

A central goal of the project is the creation of a cross-linguistic database which conspicuously documents basic distributional patterns of featural affixation. An essential precondition for the empirical and theoretical goals of the project is to to identify featural equivalents to established theoretical concepts from segmental phonology.

Another major aim of the project is to integrate featural affixation into a grammar model that combines Minimalist Distributed Morphology (Trommer 1999a, 2003c,d, 2012d), a maximally restrictive implementation of DM, where all morphological rules are affixation operations, and the version of Stratal OT developed in Bermúdez-Otero (2012), where morphological exponence is limited to introducing pieces of phonological structure subcategorizing for phonological bases, and the only access phonological computation has to morphology apart from general processes of stratification is by partial sensitivity to specific phonological boundaries, and general structural properties.

The detailed project proposal can be found here

Starting date: 01-01-2014
Though the project is officially over, we still work on our database for featural affixes (547 entries in April 2019) that we hope to publish very soon!

The project is associated with the graduate program "Interaction of Grammatical Building Blocks" (IGRA)