Morphological complexity without abstractness: Italo-Romance metaphony

M Loporcaro
This paper considers some selected cases of stressed vowel alternations arisen from the application of metaphony in Italo-Romance dialects. While similar cases are often reported in the literature, the ones picked up here stand out because they resist, for several reasons, any analysis treating metaphony as a synchronic phonological rule (albeit opacized), deriving the surface alternants from abstract underlying representations. Such analyses, as standardly practiced in the Generative paradigm
more » ... rom the 1960s to this day, would face insurmountable problems in accounting for the morphological paradigms that capitalize on the metaphonic alternants putting them into service as exponents of morphosyntactic categories. Thus, the study of morphological complexity yields supporting evidence for phonological theories like Natural Phonology, which severely constrains the amount of abstractness permitted to underlying representations.
doi:10.5167/uzh-55058 fatcat:bbbnjsbh45d67ftfzxcjlwchzm