Generalization of French and Portuguese Plural Alternations and Initial Syllable Protection

Michael Becker, Lauren Eby Clemens, and Andrew Nevins

Article (pdf)

Michael Becker, Lauren Eby Clemens, and Andrew Nevins (in press) Generalization of French and Portuguese Plural Alternations and Initial Syllable Protection. (pdf)

Abstract

We present two cases of morphophonological alternations in the plural of nouns, one from French and one from Brazilian Portuguese. In both of them, monosyllabic items are protected from right-edge alternations more than polysyllabic items are, an asymmetry we attribute to privileged protection of initial syllables. We implement the analyses of the two languages using constraint-based grammars that learn the trends in the lexicon and predict the treatment of nonce words. Five large-scale nonce word tasks confirm the productivity of the trend in both languages.

Materials and results

lexicons and experimental results for French and Brazilian Portuguese (zip)

Contact info

Michael Becker, michael.becker@phonologist.org
Lauren Eby Clemens, lclemens@albany.edu
Andrew Nevins, a.nevins@ucl.ac.uk