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PeterSipes Morphology

LevelOrdering
Introduction
Levelorderingisahypothesisthatexplainswhyspecificmorphemeshavespecificphonological effects.ThisfeaturewouldbeusefultoexplainsomepeculiaritiesofEnglishphonology.Forexample: whymightsomeAmericanEnglishspeakersusetheflapphonemeinlateral,butnotlaterally?(One pointofdatafromaStarbucksemployeeIspotinterviewed.)Onesolutionistodividemorphologyinto twolevels:LevelI,whichaccountsforsocalledintegratedaffixes,andLevelII,whichaccountsfor socalledneutralaffixes. Throughvarioussortsofdatagrammaticalityofvariousmembersofthewordfamilyheroand theformationofnoncewordswiththepotentialsuffixabilityproblemswithLevelOrderingwillbe explored.

Aboutheroesandheroines
Thelistofwordsfromthewordfamilyherointhefollowingchartistheevidencebeingusedfor demonstratinglevelorderingandhowitappliestogrammaticality. Grammatcial hero heroic warhero warheros heroine warheroine Nongrammatical *warshero *warheroic *heroineic *warsheroine *warheroineic

Table1.Grammaticalandnongrammaticalevidence Thefirsttaskathandistoseeiflevelorderingexplainsnongrammaticality.Whileexplanationof nongrammaticalityisnotconclusivereasoning,itmayprovideinsight.Note:Forthepurposesofthis

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paper,itisassumedthattheEnglishpluralmarkerisZ(alveolarsibilantunderspecifiedforvoice)sothat alevelIIphonologicaleffectcanalwaysbesuretoexistincasesusingtheplural. Rootspelling RootUR Level1 Morphology Level1 Phonology LevelII Morphology LevelII Phonology SR Finalspelled word hero hio whio whio wZhio wzhio wzhio *warshero pl.specification Stressassign hero hio whion

whon wZhon wzhon wzhon *warsheroine

Vowelchange

pl.specificaiton

Table2:LevelOrderingfor*warsheroand*warsheroine Theresnotanythingwrongwiththephonologicaleffectsoneitherofthesewords.Infact,the LevelImorphologyisfine.WherewerunintotroubleisintheLevelIImorphology.InEnglish,the morphosyntacticlocusisonthesemanticheadofacompound(Haspelmath&Sims,2010).Inbothof theseungrammaticalcompounds,wearetryingtoplacethemorphosyntacticlocusawayfromthe semantichead.Levelorderingdoesntseemtohavemuchtosayonthesetwocounts. Thenexttwodonothaveaproblemwithputtinginflectionalmorphologyonthesemantichead. Rather,theyattemptmorphologythatiseitherflawedorblocked.Iwillignorewarheroineic,because itiseitherblockedby*warheroicor*heroinecdependingonwhichwayyouchoosetolookatit. Inanycase,itslevelorderingwillcloselyreflectboth*warheroicand*heroinec.

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Rootspelling RootUR Level1 Morphology Level1 Phonology LevelII Morphology &Phonology SR Finalspelled word

hero hio whiok whiok n/a Stressassign

hero hio hionk hionk honk n/a Stressassign Vowelchange

whiok *warheroic

honk *heroineic

Table3:Levelorderingof*warheroicand*heroineic Onceagain,levelorderingdoesntseemtohavemuchtodowithgrammaticalityhere. *heroineicdoesntpassmusterbecausetheinemorphemewouldindicate[+woman],andthat specificationisnotavailablefornonstemmorphemesinEnglishadjectives.I.e.Womanlyisok,but *redtess(usingtessasincountesstoindicate[+woman])isnot.(Also,apointImnotwhollyclearon isthenumberofmorphemesthatmaybeassignedatanylevelfurtheroutsidereadinghasntreally clarifiedthematter.Illcheatthispointlater.Inanycase,thepointabout[+woman]onadjectivesin Englishstands.) *warheroicfailsmusterbecauseEnglishprobablyhasafairlystrongprohibitionforusing compoundNPtoderiveadjectives.Thoughschoolmarmishjumpstomindasanexception.Alternately, wecouldsuggestthat*warheroicisblockedbytheexistenceofheroic.Soeitherway,*warheroiccan bejudgedasungrammaticalwithoutresortingtolevelordering.

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Again,thisargumentisnotaknockoutagainstlevelordering,butitshouldcallitintoquestion. IfwecannotuseLevelOrderingtoaccountfornongrammaticality,itlacksaveryusefulfeature. Sohowdoesitaccountforgrammaticality?Thefollowingchartwillexaminehowthatappliesto thepairwarheroandwarheroes. Rootspelling RootUR Level1 Morphology Level1 Phonology LevelII Morphology LevelII Phonology SR Finalspelled word whio warhero hero hio whio whio Stressassign hero hio whio whio whioZ whioz whioz warheroes pl.specification Stressassign

Table2:Warheroandwarheroes Levelorderingseemstohavenothingtosayaboutwarheroasonlyonephonologicalchange takeseffect:stressisreassigned.Ontheotherhand,itworksquitenicelywithspecifyingtheplural/Z/to /z/inwarheroes.Ofcourse,justbecauseitworksdoesnotmeanthatlevelorderinggivesany indicationofwhywarheroesshouldbegrammatical.Indeed,warheroescanbemadegrammatical throughautomaticfunctions:compoundnounstendtohavewordinitialstressandtheEnglishplural markermatchesthevoicingoftheprecedingsegment(ignoringsibilants).

Yousayable,Isayability

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AnotherwaytoworkontheLevelOrderingproblemistolookatthepossiblecombinationof themorphemesableandityintoability.Orisitjustthesinglemorphemeability?Thefollowing chartlooksatthesemorphemecombinationsandhowtheyapplytothewordcomputability. Rootspelling RootUR Level1 Morphology Level1 Phonology LevelII Morphology LevelII Phonology SR Finalspelled word compute kmpjut kmpjutbl kmpjutbl kmpjutblti kmpjubli *kmpjubli computability flapping compute kmpjut kmpjutblti kmpjutblti kmpjutblti kmpjutbli kmpjutbli computability flapping stressassign

Table3:ableandityversusability Thepreferredroute,accordingtotheLevelOrderingintable3,istouseabilityasone morpheme.Thereasonforthisisthatitaloneyieldsthecorrectpronunciation.Italsopreventsusfrom interpretingityasaneutralsuffix(presumingyoucanonlyaddonemorphemeperlevel).Itisnot, becauseityhasmanylevelIeffects:stressreassignmentandvowelmodification.Usingableandity astwomorphemesalsopreventsusfrominserting//betweenthe/b/and/l/inableprovidedthis insertionisatLevelII.EvenifbothmorphemesworkatLevelI,butthereseemstobenobasisfor inserting//hereeither. Iamnotsurethatadualroutemodeloflexicalaccesssolvesthe//insertionproblem.Tobe

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sure,listingaformlike/kmpjutblti/inthelexiconwouldsolve//insertionproblem,butitdoesnot solvetheproblemfornoncewordslikesmellability.AquickcheckofGoogle(http://bit.ly/Y0H7yU) showsthatthereareabout1,780resultsasof22April2013.TheLevelOrderingforsmellabilityisin table4.

Rootspelling RootUR Level1 Morphology Level1 Phonology LevelII Morphology LevelII Phonology SR Finalspelled word

smell sml smlbl smlbl smlblti smlbli *smlbli smellability flapping

smell sml smlblti smltblti smltblti smlbli smlbli smellability flapping stressassign

Table4:ableandityversusabilityinanonceword Eventhoughanoncewordlikesmellabilityisnotinthelexicon,butnonativespeakerwould mispronounceitasgrosslyasisindicatedintheable/ityastwomorphemescolumn.LevelOrdering doesnothelpusouthere,whichisaswehadexpectedgiventhecomputabilitydata.Butadualroute modeloflexicalaccessdoesnothelpushereatall:thewordisnotinthelexicon. Whileusingabilityasonemorphemesolvesproblemsforlevelordering,particularlywith noncewords,itraisesanother.Thenewproblemisthatableisasuffixthatisquiteproductive.

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Derivingawordlikesmellabilityfromsmellableisstraightforwardifyouusethetwomorpheme able/itymodelandneedlesslycomplicatedifyouusethemorphemesableandability,whichis shownintable5(onthenextpage).

2morphemes:easy

2morphemes:hard Lopoffable Addinability

Insertityintothetree Startwithsmellable ^ /\ ^\ /\\ V Adj N smell able ity

^ /\ V Adj smell able

V smell

^ /\ V N smell ability

Table5:Derivingsmellabilitytheeasywayandthehardway SoifLevelOrderingsuggeststhatabilityistherightmorphemeandtreestructuresuggests otherwise,whatistobedonetomakesenseoftheproblem?Somethingelsemustbeatplay.

Conclusions
LevelOrderingisahypothesisthatisappealing:itattemptstoprovideanexplanationforwhy somemorphemeshavecertainphonologicaleffectsstressorvowelchangesthatothersdonot.The problemisthatvariouskindsofdatadontsupportit. LevelOrderingdoesntaccountforgrammaticalityornongrammaticalityofwordslikeheroic or*warsheroic.Nordoesitaccountforproperphonologyappliedtononcewordslikesmellability

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whencomparedtoamorphologicaltree.HaspelmathandSims(2010)suggestthatcomplexitybased orderingmaybeonewayoutoftheproblemspresentedbylevelordering.Anotherwayoutofthe problemoflevelorderingmaybeDistributedMorphology(withahandyfaqhere: http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~rnoyer/dm/home.html).

Resources
Haspelmath,Martin&Sims,AndreaD.(2010).UnderstandingMorphology,2nded.London:Hodder Education.