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How to derive allomorphy: a case study from Czech

  • Markéta Ziková EMAIL logo and Michaela Faltýnková
From the journal The Linguistic Review


The paper discusses a three-way allomorphic pattern of neuter-gender stems in Czech. We argue that there are two surface alternations involved in the three-stem pattern, i.e. a-e and t-zero, and that the two alternations are driven by two distinct mechanisms, i.e. suppletion and regular phonological computation respectively. We postulate two suppletive stem-building suffixes that are lexically connected via the Nanosyntactic tool of pointers. We argue that the default a-initial suffix spells out the neuter gender and its suppletive e-initial variant is a portmanteau morpheme of the (neuter) gender and (singular) number. We further propose that the suppletive suffix is stored with a floating consonant that does not surface word-finally due to regular phonological computation.

Corresponding author: Markéta Ziková, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, E-mail:

Funding source: Czech Science Foundation

Award Identifier / Grant number: 17-10144S and 17-16111S


We thank two anonymous reviewers for their feedback.

  1. Research funding: The research for this paper was supported by a grant from the Czech Science Foundation, (no. 17-10144S and 17-16111S) awarded to Pavel Caha.


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Published Online: 2021-10-08
Published in Print: 2021-09-27

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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