Effects of zero morphology on syncretism and allomorphy in Western Armenian verbs

Ayla Karakaş, Hossep Dolatian, Peter Guekguezian


Verbs in Western Armenian (Indo-European) inflect for both subject agreement and tense. Subject and tense marking is often fused, which makes segmentation difficult. We show that, despite surface fusion, verbal inflection in Western Armenian is fundamentally agglutinative. By segmenting subject and tense suffixes across the verbal paradigm, we capture syncretic patterns and other interactions between inflectional slots that a fusional account does not. Our analysis requires limited but systematic use of zero morphs. Our agglutinative model of Western Armenian verbs reveals that inwardly-sensitive morphologically-conditioned allomorphy has priority over its outwardly-sensitive counterpart.


Distributed morphology; verbal inflection; agglutinaton; morpheme segmentation; Armenian; allomorphy; zero exponence; zero morph; directionality in allomorphy

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/ptu.v6i1.5056

Copyright (c) 2021 Ayla Karakaş, Hossep Dolatian, Peter Guekguezian

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.