Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton August 13, 2021

Phonological evidence for morpho-syntactic structure in Athapaskan

Heather Goad EMAIL logo and Lisa deMena Travis
From the journal The Linguistic Review

Abstract

Athapaskan verbal morphology appears to violate the Mirror Principle in multiple ways and, thus, the ordering of affixes in these languages has resisted a straightforward analysis. We adopt a new morphological tool of Iterative Root Prefixation, which allows for a more direct mapping from syntax to morphology in languages of this profile. Apparent violations of affix ordering that remain, namely the puzzling placement of the transitive and causative morphemes, are argued to be explained by overriding phonological constraints.


Corresponding author: Heather Goad, McGill University, Montréal, Canada, E-mail:

Funding source: SSHRC http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000155

Award Identifier / Grant number: 435-2015-0490

Award Identifier / Grant number: 435-2016-1331

Funding source: FRQSC

Award Identifier / Grant number: 2016-SE-188196

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank audiences at the McGill/UQAM Word Structure Research Group (Groupe de recherche sur le mot), especially Jurij Božič, Tom Leu, Heather Newell, and Máire Noonan, the mfm Fringe Meeting 2018, MOT 2018, and Mo-MOT 2019. Further thanks to Sharon Hargus, Heidi Harley, two anonymous reviewers, and especially Keren Rice, whose insights and vast Athapaskan knowledge have greatly improved this paper. All errors are, of course, our own.

  1. Research funding: This research was funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grants 435-2015-0490 to Heather Goad (PI) and Lydia White and 435-2016-1331 to Lisa Travis (PI) and Fonds de Recherche du Québec - Société et culture (FRQSC) grant 2016-SE-188196 to Lydia White (PI) and colleagues.

References

Alderete, John & Tanya Bob. 2005. A corpus-based analysis of Tahltan stress. In Sharon Hargus & Keren Rice (eds.), Athabaskan prosody, 369–391. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.10.1075/cilt.269.21aldSearch in Google Scholar

Andrews, Christina. 1988. Lexical phonology of Chilcotin. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia MA thesis.Search in Google Scholar

Baker, Mark. 1985. The Mirror Principle and morphosyntactic explanation. Linguistic Inquiry 16. 373–416. https://doi.org/10.1080/00253359.1985.10656046.Search in Google Scholar

Berkson, Kelly. 2013. Optionality and locality: Evidence from Navajo sibilant harmony. Laboratory Phonology 4. 287–337. https://doi.org/10.1515/lp-2013-0011.Search in Google Scholar

Causley, Trisha. 1994. Featural correspondence and consonant coalescence in Athapaskan. Ms. University of Toronto.Search in Google Scholar

Cinque, Guglielmo. 2014. Again on tense, aspect, mood morpheme order and the “Mirror Principle”. In Peter Svenonius (ed.), Functional structure from top to toe: The cartography of syntactic structures, vol. 9, 232–265. Oxford: Oxford University Press.10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199740390.003.0008Search in Google Scholar

Cook, Eung-Do. 1977. Syllable weight in three Northern Athapaskan languages. International Journal of American Linguistics 43. 259–268. https://doi.org/10.1086/465497.Search in Google Scholar

Cook, Eung-Do. 1979. Flattening and rounding in Chilcotin velars. In Barbara Efrat (ed.), The Victoria Conference on Northwestern Languages, 15–32. Victoria: British Columbia Provincial Museum.Search in Google Scholar

Cook, Eung-Do. 1983. Chilcotin flattening. Canadian Journal of Linguistics 28. 123–132. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0008413100024075.Search in Google Scholar

Cook, Eung-Do. 1986. Ambisyllabicity and nasalization in Chilcotin.In Working papers for the 21st conference on Salish and neighboring languages, 1–6. Seattle: University of Washington.Search in Google Scholar

Cook, Eung-Do. 1987. An autosegmental analysis of Chilcotin flattening. In Anna R. K. Bosch, Barbara Need & Edward Schiller (eds.), Proceedings from CLS 23: Parasession of Autosegmental and Metrical Phonology, 51–65. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.Search in Google Scholar

Cook, Eung-Do. 1989. Chilcotin tone and verb paradigms. In Eung-Do Cook & Keren Rice (eds.), Athapaskan linguistics, 145–198. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.10.1515/9783110852394-005Search in Google Scholar

Cook, Eung-Do. 1993. Chilcotin flattening and autosegmental phonology. Lingua 91(2–3). 149–174. https://doi.org/10.1016/0024-3841(93)90011-k.Search in Google Scholar

Cook, Eung-Do. 2013. A Tsilhqút’ín grammar. Vancouver: UBC Press.Search in Google Scholar

Crippen, James. 2019. The syntax of Tlingit verbs. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia dissertation.Search in Google Scholar

Embick, David & Rolf Noyer. 2001. Movement operations after syntax. Linguistic Inquiry 32. 555–595. https://doi.org/10.1162/002438901753373005.Search in Google Scholar

Embick, David & Rolf Noyer. 2007. Distributed Morphology and the syntax/ morphology interface. In Gillian C. Ramchand & Charles Reiss (eds.), Oxford handbook of linguistic interfaces, 289–324. Oxford: Oxford University Press.10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199247455.013.0010Search in Google Scholar

Goad, Heather. 2002. Markedness in right-edge syllabification: Parallels across populations. Canadian Journal of Linguistics 47. 151–186. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0008413100022933.Search in Google Scholar

Goad, Heather. 2012. sC clusters are (almost always) coda-initial. The Linguistic Review 29. 335–373.10.1515/tlr-2012-0013Search in Google Scholar

Gordon, Matthew & Edmundo Luna. 2002. An intergenerational investigation of Hupa stress. In Proceedings of the 30th Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistic Society, 105–117. Berkeley: Berkeley Linguistic Society.10.3765/bls.v30i1.3426Search in Google Scholar

Grimshaw, Jane. 2000. Locality and extended projection. In Peter Coopmans, Martin Everaert & Jane Grimshaw (eds.), Lexical specification and insertion, 115–134. Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.10.1075/cilt.197.07griSearch in Google Scholar

Guerssel, Mohamed & Jean Lowenstamm. 1990. The derivational morphology of the Classical Arabic verbal system. Ms. UQAM and Université de Paris 7.Search in Google Scholar

Hale, Kenneth. 2001. Navajo verb stem position and the bipartite structure of the Navajo conjunct sector. Linguistic Inquiry 32. 678–693https://doi.org/10.1162/002438901753373041.Search in Google Scholar

Hale, Kenneth & Samuel Jay Keyser. 1993. On argument structure and the lexical expression of syntactic relations. In Kenneth Hale & Samuel Jay Keyser (eds.), The view from Building 20, 53–110. Cambridge: MIT Press.Search in Google Scholar

Halle, Morris & Alec Marantz. 1993. Distributed morphology and the pieces of inflection. In Kenneth Hale & Samuel Jay Keyser (eds.), The view from Building 20, 111–176. Cambridge: MIT Press.Search in Google Scholar

Hansson, Gunnar Ólafur. 2001. Theoretical and typological issues in consonant harmony. Berkeley, CA: University of California Berkeley dissertation.Search in Google Scholar

Hargus, Sharon. 1988. The lexical phonology of Sekani. New York: Garland Publishing.Search in Google Scholar

Hargus, Sharon. 2007. Witsuwit’en grammar: Phonetics, phonology, morphology. Vancouver: UBC Press.Search in Google Scholar

Hargus, Sharon. 2010. Athabaskan phonetics and phonology. Language and Linguistics Compass 4. 1019–1040.10.1111/j.1749-818X.2010.00245.xSearch in Google Scholar

Harley, Heidi. 2011. Affixation and the Mirror Principle. In Raffaella Folli & Christiane Ulbricht (eds.), Interfaces in linguistics: New research perspectives, 166–186. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Howren, Robert. 1971. A formalization of the Athabaskan ‘D-effect’. International Journal of American Linguistics 37. 96–113. https://doi.org/10.1086/465144.Search in Google Scholar

Itô, Junko. 1989. A prosodic theory of epenthesis. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 7. 217–259. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf00205160.Search in Google Scholar

Kalin, Laura. 2020. Morphology before phonology: A case study of Turoyo (Neo-Aramaic). Morphology 30. 135–184.10.1007/s11525-020-09365-3Search in Google Scholar

Kari, James. 1976. Navajo verb prefix phonology. New York: Garland Publishers.Search in Google Scholar

Kaye, Jonathan. 1992. Do you believe in magic? The story of s+C sequences. SOAS Working Papers in Linguistics 2. 293–313.Search in Google Scholar

Kaye, Jonathan, Jean Lowenstamm & Jean-Roger Vergnaud. 1990. Constituent structure and government in phonology. Phonology 7. 193–231. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0952675700001184.Search in Google Scholar

Kayne, Richard S. 1994. The antisymmetry of syntax. Cambridge: MIT Press.Search in Google Scholar

Kiparsky, Paul. 1985. Some consequences of lexical phonology. Phonology Yearbook 2. 85–138.10.1017/S0952675700000397Search in Google Scholar

Krauss, Michael. 1964. Proto-Athapaskan-Eyak and the problem of Na-Dene: The phonology. International Journal of American Linguistics 30. 118–131. https://doi.org/10.1086/464766.Search in Google Scholar

Krauss, Michael. 1965. Proto-Athapaskan-Eyak and the problem of Na-Dene II: Morphology. International Journal of American Linguistics 31. 18–28. https://doi.org/10.1086/464810.Search in Google Scholar

Krauss, Michael. 1975. Chilcotin phonology, a descriptive and historical report. Ms. University of Alaska.Search in Google Scholar

Lamontagne, Greg & Keren Rice. 1994. An optimality theoretic account of the Athapaskan D-effect(s). Proceedings of the 20th Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, 340–350. Berkeley: Berkeley Linguistics Society.10.3765/bls.v20i1.1439Search in Google Scholar

Li, Fang-Kuei. 1946. Chipewyan. In Cornelius Osgood (ed.), Linguistic structures of Native America 6, 398–423. New York: Viking Fund Publications in Anthropology.Search in Google Scholar

Marantz, Alec. 1988. Clitics, morphological merger, and the mapping to phonological structure. In Michael Hammond & Michael Noonan (eds.), Theoretical morphology: Approaches in modern linguistics, 253–270. San Diego: Academic Press.Search in Google Scholar

McCarthy, John. 1986. OCP effects: Gemination and antigemination. Linguistic Inquiry 17. 207–263. https://doi.org/10.1097/00001574-198603000-00006.Search in Google Scholar

McDonough, Joyce. 2000. On a bipartite model of the Athabaskan verb. In Theodore B. Fernald & Platero Paul (eds.), The Athabaskan languages: Perspectives on a Native American language family, 139–166. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

McDonough, Joyce. 2003. The Navajo sound system. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Press.10.1007/978-94-010-0207-3Search in Google Scholar

Montoya, Ignacio Lorenzo. 2017. Motivating morphological constituents: A learning-based analysis of Hebrew, Navajo, and Spanish. New York, NY: City University of New York dissertation. https://academicworks.cuny.edu/gc_etds/2163 (accessed 17 June 2021).Search in Google Scholar

Newell, Heather. 2005. Bracketing paradoxes and particle verbs: A late adjunction analysis. In Sylvia Blaho, Luis Vicente & Erik Schoorlemmer (eds.), Proceedings of Console XIII. Leiden: University of Leiden.Search in Google Scholar

Newell, Heather. 2018. There are no bracketing paradoxes. The Linguistic Review.10.1093/acrefore/9780199384655.013.589Search in Google Scholar

Özçelik, Öner. 2014. Prosodic faithfulness to foot edges: The case of Turkish stress. Phonology 31. 229–269.10.1017/S0952675714000128Search in Google Scholar

Piggott, Glyne. 1991. Apocope and the licensing of empty-headed syllables. The Linguistic Review 8. 287–318.10.1515/tlir.1991.8.2-4.287Search in Google Scholar

Piggott, Glyne. 2003. The phonotactics of a “Prince” language: A case study. In Stefan Ploch (ed.), Living on the edge: 28 papers in honour of Jonathan Kaye, 401–426. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.10.1515/9783110890563.401Search in Google Scholar

Piggott, Glyne & Lisa deMena Travis. 2013. Adjuncts within words and complex heads. In Raffaella Folli, Christina Sevdali & Robert Truswell (eds.), Syntax and its limits, 157–174. Oxford: Oxford University Press.10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199683239.003.0009Search in Google Scholar

Pylkkänen, Liina. 2008. Introducing arguments. Cambridge: MIT Press.10.7551/mitpress/9780262162548.001.0001Search in Google Scholar

Rice, Keren. 1989. A grammar of Slave. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.10.1515/9783110861822Search in Google Scholar

Rice, Keren. 1990. Prosodic constituency in Hare (Athapaskan): Evidence for the foot. Lingua 82(2–3). 201–245.10.1016/0024-3841(90)90062-PSearch in Google Scholar

Rice, Keren. 1990. Prosodic constituency in Hare (Athapaskan): Evidence for the foot. Lingua 82. 201–245.10.1016/0024-3841(90)90062-PSearch in Google Scholar

Rice, Keren. 1993. The structure of the Slave (Northern Athabaskan) verb. In Sharon Hargus & Ellen Kaisse (eds.), Studies in lexical phonology, 145–171. San Diego: Academic Press.10.1016/B978-0-12-325071-1.50011-XSearch in Google Scholar

Rice, Keren. 1994. Laryngeal features in Athapaskan languages. Phonology 11. 107–147. https://doi.org/10.1017/s095267570000186x.Search in Google Scholar

Rice, Keren. 2000. Morpheme order and semantic scope: Word formation in the Athapaskan verb. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9780511663659Search in Google Scholar

Rice, Keren. 2003. On the syllabification of right-edge consonants – evidence from Ahtna (Athapaskan). In Stefan Ploch (ed.), Living on the edge: 28 papers in honour of Jonathan Kaye, 429–448. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.Search in Google Scholar

Rice, Keren & Sharon Hargus. 2005. Introduction. In Sharon Hargus & Keren Rice (eds.), Athapaskan prosody, 1–45. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.10.1075/cilt.269.03ricSearch in Google Scholar

Richards, Norvin. 1997. What moves where when in which language? Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology dissertation.Search in Google Scholar

Richards, Norvin. 2001. Movement in language: Interactions and architectures. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Sandoval, Merton & Eloise Jelinek. 1989. The bi-construction and pronominal arguments in Apachean. In Eung-Do Cook & Keren Rice (eds.), Athapaskan linguistics: Current perspectives on a language family, 335–377. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.10.1515/9783110852394-010Search in Google Scholar

Sapir, Edward & Harry Hoijer. 1967. The phonology and morphology of the Navaho language, vol. 50. Berkeley: University of California Press.Search in Google Scholar

Shaw, Patricia A. 1991. Consonant harmony systems: The special status of coronal harmony. In Carole Paradis & Jean-François Prunet (eds.), Phonetics and phonology 2: The special status of coronals, 125–157. San Diego: Academic Press.10.1016/B978-0-12-544966-3.50013-0Search in Google Scholar

Speas, Margaret. 1990. Phrase structure in natural language. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.10.1007/978-94-009-2045-3Search in Google Scholar

Speas, Margaret. 1991a. Functional heads and the inflectional morphemes. The Linguistic Review 8. 389–417. https://doi.org/10.1515/tlir.1991.8.2-4.389.Search in Google Scholar

Speas, Margaret. 1991b. Functional heads and the Mirror Principle. Lingua 84. 181–214. https://doi.org/10.1016/0024-3841(91)90070-l.Search in Google Scholar

Travis, Lisa deMena. 1992. Two quirks of structure: Non-projecting heads and the Mirror Image Principle. Journal of Linguistics 28. 469–484. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0022226700015309.Search in Google Scholar

Travis, Lisa deMena. 2010. Inner Aspect: The articulation of VP. Dordrecht: Springer.10.1007/978-90-481-8550-4Search in Google Scholar

Travis, Lisa deMena. 2011. Syntactic phases and late-adjunction: Evidence from Navajo morpho-phonology. In Raffaella Folli & Christiane Ulbricht (eds.), Interfaces in linguistics: New research perspectives, 187–204. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Tuttle, Siri. 1998. Metrical and tonal structures in Tanana Athabaskan. Seattle, WA: University of Washington dissertation.Search in Google Scholar

Willie, Mary Ann. 1989. Why there is nothing missing in Navajo relative clauses. In Eung-Do Cook & Keren Rice (eds.), Athapaskan linguistics: Current perspectives on a language family, 407–437. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.10.1515/9783110852394-012Search in Google Scholar

Young, Robert W. & William Morgan. 1972. The Navaho language. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company.Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2021-08-13
Published in Print: 2021-09-27

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Downloaded on 6.12.2022 from frontend.live.degruyter.dgbricks.com/document/doi/10.1515/tlr-2021-2070/html
Scroll Up Arrow