Rojas-Esponda Today for P&P

Sam Bowman writes:

Hi soundies,

Today we’ll be hearing from our own Tania Rojas-Esponda on possible OCP effects in Sundanese allomorphy. Come on by!

Same time*, same place*,

*460-126 at 12:15p.

Sundanese possesses two plural allomorphs, ar and al. They are particularly important as they can be used to pluralize adjectives, nouns and also verbs. Cohn, Holton and McCarthy present analyses for the ar/al alternation, starting from ar as the assumed underlying form. Roughly, they claim that the r in the plural affix ar dissimilates to l if there is another r in the word, except when the other r is directly neighboring (separated from the affixal r only by a vowel). McCarthy deals with this exception by introducing the markedness constraints *lVrV and *rVlV. These two constraints are natural enough given the OCP, which says that similar but distinct consonants (such as l and r) should not occur close to each other. However, McCarthy also claims there is a crucial asymmetrical treatment of the two sequences lVrV and rVlV when they occur underlyingly. I will talk about whether the data support this claim.

The analyses of Cohn, Holton and McCarthy are based on the same, and rather limited, set of examples. In my talk I use a larger set of data extracted from a Sundanese version of the bible that has on the order of a million words as well as data from an online Sundanese dictionary to test some of the generalizations made by these authors.