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Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Face, Timothy L.

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The Phonology-Morphology Interface in Judeo-Spanish Diminutive Formation: A Lexical Ordering and Subcategorization Approach

Travis G. Bradley / Jason Smith
Published Online: 2015-03-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/shll-2011-1103


In this article we examine diminutive formation in Judeo-Spanish, which has not been treated before in the generative literature. The distribution of diminutive suffixes is shown to be predictable based on an interaction of morphological and phonological properties, which is a recognized hallmark of diminutive formation in Spanish more generally. Judeo-Spanish also presents some interesting twists not commonly found in other varieties of Spanish. A formal analysis is developed in Optimality Theory that builds upon recent work on allomorph selection involving lexical ordering and subcategorization. A comparison with previous analyses of other Spanish varieties shows that our approach can account for the behavior of nominal class markers in diminutivization, as well as the alternation of diminutive allomorphs, while avoiding the proliferation of language- and morpheme-specific constraints. Furthermore, our account sheds new light on the moraic status of glides in rising and falling diphthongs and of the trill in word-medial intervocalic position.

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Published Online: 2015-03-20

Published in Print: 2011-09-01

Citation Information: Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, Volume 4, Issue 2, Pages 247–300, ISSN (Online) 2199-3386, ISSN (Print) 1939-0238, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/shll-2011-1103.

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Travis G. Bradley
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