The small matter of the Afrikaans diminutive

Andrew Lamont


The Afrikaans diminutive suffix surfaces as one of four allomorphs determined by complex prosodic and segmental interactions including stem augmentation, stem modification in form of diphthongization, and notably bidirectional place assimilation and segmental deletion. This paper presents an analysis in Harmonic Serialism (Prince & Smolensky 1993/2004, McCarthy 2000) that derives the surface allomorphs from an underlying representation /-ʲki/. The analysis departs from Wissing’s (1971) rule-based treatment in rejecting phonologically-conditioned allomorphs in favor of a single underlying form which is subject to phonological derivation and in treating diphthongization as the realization of underlying palatal features following Bye (2013).


Afrikaans; stem augmentation; place assimilation; directionality; diphthongization; morphophonology; Harmonic Serialism

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Copyright (c) 2017 Andrew Lamont

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