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The Sound Patterns of Syntax$
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Nomi Erteschik-Shir and Lisa Rochman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199556861

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199556861.001.0001

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Intermodular argumentation: Morpheme‐specific phonologies are out of business in a phase‐based architecture

Intermodular argumentation: Morpheme‐specific phonologies are out of business in a phase‐based architecture

Chapter:
(p.333) 16 Intermodular argumentation: Morpheme‐specific phonologies are out of business in a phase‐based architecture
Source:
The Sound Patterns of Syntax
Author(s):

Tobias Scheer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199556861.003.0016

The interactionist character of Chomskyan phase theory affords a major break in generative interface theory. One consequence is that intermodular argumentation is now possible: the chunks that are designated by the spell‐out mechanism for computation at PF must be the same on both sides. Also, the phonological and syntactic computation of these identical portions of the string must be restricted by the PIC in the same way. A particular syntactic analysis thus makes precise predictions on the phonological side, and vice‐versa. On these grounds, competing phonological analyses of affix class‐based phenomena are compared. Since Lexical Phonology, the most popular solution are morpheme‐specific phonologies, i.e. distinct computational systems that apply to strings according to their morphological composition (class 1 vs. class 2 affixes). Halle & Vergnaud (1987) and Kaye (1992, 1995) have proposed an alternative that works with just one computational system and, in the case of Kaye, with a “freezing” no look‐back device that inhibits the modification of previously interpreted strings (this is Chomsky's PIC). Since the PIC and morpheme‐specific phonologies do the same labour in the analysis of affix class‐based phenomena, no theory can afford to accommodate both: this would be redundant. If syntactic phase theory is on the right track, then, present and past solutions that rely on morpheme‐specific phonologies do not qualify: the PIC must exist in phonology. Finally, it is shown that Kaye's system also implements in phonology what is known as the phase edge in syntax (the sister of phase heads, not their maximal projection, is spelled out).

Keywords:   intermodular argumentation, modularity, phase theory, phase impenetrability, phonology

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