Valencian Hypocoristics: When Morphology Meets Phonology

Eduard Artés


Valencian hypocoristics constitute a domain in which morphology seems to be at rescue when phonological problems arise. The prosodic requirements of the truncated form (a disyllabic left-headed foot) determine the insertion of an inflectional exponent, i.e., 'morphological epenthesis'. The grammar avoids the insertion of regular epenthetic material and favors the choice of an exponent already listed in the lexicon. Assuming inflectional allomorphs to be underdetermined in the input, a constraint Priority ('respect lexical priority -ordering- of allomorphs', Mascaró 2007) is responsible for the assignment of exponents. In cases of phonological conflict, the interaction with markedness constraints forces the insertion of a marked allomorph in the hierarchy. In short, the proposal implies that phonology can control allomorph selection. 


Hypocoristics; Valencian Catalan; Allomorph Selection; Phonology-Morphology Interface; Optimality Theory;

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