Actually, Serial Template Satisfaction Does Predict Medial Coda Skipping in Reduplication

Sam Zukoff


The pattern of "reduplicant-medial coda skipping" is unattested as a mode of copying in reduplication. The term coda skipping refers to a language that permits codas in roots/bases (i.e. CVC.CV...), but disallows codas from appearing in medial position in a polysyllabic reduplicant (i.e. CV.CV-CVC.CV..., not *CVC.CV-CVC.CV...). McCarthy, Kimper, & Mullin (2012) [MKM] claim that Serial Template Satisfaction (STS), a framework proposed by MKM for analyzing reduplication within Harmonic Serialism, is unique in excluding this copying pattern, which is predicted by most other theories of reduplication, notably including Base-Reduplicant Correspondence Theory (BRCT; McCarthy & Prince 1995). STS’s apparent advantage in this domain is taken as a point in favor of STS over BRCT.

In this paper, I show that this claim cannot be sustained. STS, just like BRCT, must choose between allowing the unattested coda skipping pattern and disallowing the attested pattern of onset skipping, wherein complex onsets are permitted in roots/bases (i.e. CCV...) but disallowed in reduplicants (i.e. CV-CCV..., not *CCV-CCV...). In both frameworks, the mechanics that would permit onset skipping straightforwardly predict coda skipping, as well. Therefore, this empirical domain does not, in fact, provide a means of distinguishing between STS and BRCT.


Reduplication; Base-Reduplicant Correspondence Theory; Serial Template Satisfaction; Harmonic Serialism; Skipping

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