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




Morphology, phonotactics, morphophonological constraints, wordlikeness, word formation


The adverbial suffix -ly[1] and the adjectival suffix -ly[2] typically do not combine (e.g., *ghost+-ly[1]+-ly[2] '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.

Author Biographies

  • Lauren Marie Ackerman, Newcastle University
    REA Research Fellow, School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics
  • Shiloh Drake, University of Arizona
    PhD Candidate, Department of Linguistics




How to Cite

Ackerman, Lauren Marie, and Shiloh Drake. 2018. “The Cat Stalked ?Wilily Around the House: Morphological Dissimilation in Deadjectival Adverbs”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 3 (1): 16:1-10.