Morpheme-specific Phonology in Reduplication

Hannah Sande


This paper examines two case studies of morpheme-specific reduplication that copy from a syntactic domain larger than a root but smaller than a word, providing an analysis in Cophonologies by Phase (CBP) of both morpheme-specific phonotactic requirements in different reduplication processes and of the amount of structure copied in reduplication. The first case study comes from Guébie (Kru, Ivory Coast), where reduplication marks both nominalization and reciprocals (among others). In both morphosyntactic environments, reduplication copies the verb plus valency-changing affixes, but the reduplicants are subject to different sets of phonotactic restrictions. The second case study comes from Kinande (Bantu, Democratic Republic of Congo) where there is reduplication of nouns as well as verbs. Nominal and verbal reduplication both involve a two-syllable reduplicant that copies from the root plus some--but not all--affixes, and both are subject to a morpheme integrity constraint. However, the two reduplication processes differ in whether they are prefixing or suffixing, whether they copy from right-to-left or left-to-right, and in which repair to the morpheme integrity constraint is preferred.

While other frameworks such as traditional Cophonology Theory, Stratal OT, or Indexed Constraints could also account for the morpheme-specific phonological behavior of reduplicants, CBP has the added benefit of straightforwardly accounting for the amount of structure that serves as the base of reduplication in each case. This paper contributes to the growing literature on morphophonological interactions that can be accounted for within CBP.


reduplication; phase-based spell-out; Guébie; Kinande

Full Text:



Copyright (c) 2021 Hannah Sande

License URL: