The cat stalked ?wilily around the house: Morphological dissimilation in deadjectival adverbs

Lauren Marie Ackerman, Shiloh Drake


The adverbial suffix -ly₁ and the adjectival suffix -ly₂ typically do not combine (e.g., *ghost+ly₂+ly₁; 'in a ghostlike manner'). However, phonologically similar strings are attested when one /li/ string is part of the word stem (jollily, compared to: ?smellily, *lovelily). Does morphological structure modulate the acceptability of these words independently from the impact of phonological or usage-based constraints? In two experiments, jolly-type stems are rated more acceptable than smell- and love-type stems, which did not significantly differ from each other. A combination of phonological constraints and increased morphological complexity can account for the observed pattern.


Morphology; phonotactics; morphophonological constraints; wordlikeness; word formation

Full Text:



Copyright (c) 2018 Lauren Marie Ackerman, Shiloh Drake

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Donate to the Open-Access Fund of the LSA

Linguistic Society of America

Advancing the Scientific Study of Language

ISSN (online): 2473-8689

This publication is made available for free to readers and with no charge to authors thanks in part to your continuing LSA membership and your donations to the open access fund.