Maximal Words and the Maori Passive [chapter]

Paul de Lacy
Optimality Theory in Phonology  
In comparison to minimal word restrictions, limitations on the upper size of prosodic words have received little attention. To help rectify this situation, this talk is about such 'maximal word' restrictions, set within the context of Optimality Theory. The empirical focus of this talk is a famous -and somewhat complicated -case of allomorphy: the Maori passive. I will show that there is a maximal word restriction in Maori, effected by the interaction of several constraints. This restriction is
more » ... This restriction is of primary importance in determining which allomorph appears in what context. I will also show that previous descriptions of the Maori passive have been significantly incomplete. The revised description and analysis that I will present makes a phonological analysis of the passive more plausible, so affecting the broader theoretical issues surrounding it (see Kenstowicz & Kisseberth 1979, cited below). In the course of examining the Maori passive, I will show that maximal word restrictions are effected by a variety of interacting and necessarily violable constraints. The complexities of the passive underscore the inadequacies of serialist theories: such an approach results in ordering paradoxes and requires simultaneous top-down and bottom-up prosodic construction.
doi:10.1002/9780470756171.ch27 fatcat:xxykgtdskffijo25woxmbrkjgi