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Chapter 8

LINGUIST 1Z03 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Suppletion, Function Word, Voicelessness

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Karen Tucker

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1Z03 Chapter 08: Allomorphs
Karen Tucker
An underlying morpheme may have several allomorphs
How do speakers select the right allomorph to use in a situation?
Normally the choice is not arbitrary, the factors may be phonological,
grammatical or lexical
5.1 How is the distribution of morpheme allomorphs determined?
Some morphemes do not have different allomorphs in different environments
(e.g cut, day)
Given a base with certain phonetic characteristics, a particular allomorph of
the affix morpheme has to be selected, this can go both ways
-s or -es is shown in the orthography but can show up as three different
phonetic in the spoken language
/s/ in hats, /z/ in doves, and /ez/ in badges
Alternations in representation of morphemes are called morphophonemic rules
The allomorph with the widest distribution is usually taken as the underlying
representation/underlying form/base form
Phonologically Conditioned Allomorphs
Usually a list of allomorphs bear a strong phonological resemblance to each
other, because all the allomorphs of a morpheme are normally derived from a
single underlying representation, the only one that appears in the lexicon
/z/ occurs in the widest range of environments, occurs after any vowel and
after all voiced consonants except the sibilants /s z,ʃ,ʒ,tʃ,dʒ/, so it is the
underlying form, and the plural for regular nouns
Suffix that is changed by the base
after /p t k f θ/ (e.g lips, maps, sheets)
Underlying /-z/ is realised as [-s] in the SR if a stem ends in a voiceless consonant
which is not a strident coronal
(e.g tubs, lads, mugs, groves)
Underlying /-z/ is realised as [-z] in the surface representation if a stem ends in a
voiced sound which is not a strident coronal
Underlying /z/ is realised as [-əz] in the surface representation if a stem ends in a
consonant which is both a strident and a coronal ( allomorph for the sibilants /s
The vowel /ə/ is inserted to separate the strident coronal of the stem from that
of the suffix
In each case, the allomorph selected is the one that has the same affinity with
the last sound of the stem to which it is suffixed, or the allomorphs of the plural
agree in voicing with the final sound of the stem to which they are attached
( assimilation)
The phenomenon of vowel insertion is also called schwa epenthesis
Assimilation is usually the reason for the phonological conditioning of
8: Allomorphs
November 7, 2017
4:54 PM
Class Notes Page 1
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