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Issues in the Phonology-Morphology Interface in African Languages
Larry M. Hyman
16-25 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


In this paper I address how morphology and phonology potentially affect each other in a grammar. Drawing from a number of African languages, I briefly provide a typological overview of the types of morphology-phonology interfaces for which African languages are well known, including morphologically conditioned P-rules, phonologically conditioned allomorphy, and prosodic morphology (templates, reduplication). I then consider the most diverse and extensive morphology-phonology interface in sub-saharan African: tonal morphology. After distinguishing different types of tonal morphology, I focus on cases which are particularly unusual, specifically tonal morphology which extends beyond the lexical word. This will naturally lead to a discussion of what should be considered "morphology" vs. something else. I will show that tonal morphology can do anything that non-tonal morphology can do, but that the reverse is not true: there are morphological phenomena that appear limited to tone. While emphasis will be on the phenomena rather than on formal implementation, the implications (and potential difficulties) these facts present for formal modeling will be apparent.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference on African Linguistics: Linguistic Interfaces in African Languages
edited by lanik la Orie and Karen W. Sanders
Table of contents
Printed edition: $320.00