Since the work of Zubritskaya (1995) and Matushansky (2002), it has been apparent that prefixes and prepositions instantiate a synchronically unified and unique class in Russian phonology. A less discussed point is that Russian prefixes and prepositions cannot be unified on the basis of their morphosyntactic characteristics. An existing analysis (Rubach 2000) addresses only the phonological facts, implicitly assuming that the two categories are identical morphosyntactically. To resolve the apparent contradiction between the phonological identity and the morphosyntactic non-identity of prefixes and prepositions, this paper proposes a Stratal OT (Kiparsky 2000) approach to the palatalization pattern within the complex containing the prefix/preposition and its host. The account takes as its foundation the work of Blumenfeld (2003) and posits that prefixes and prepositions are processed at distinct strata (word and postlexical, respectively). This claim, in combination with Stratal OT's ability to re-rank constraints at each stratum, straightforwardly accounts for the palatalization facts and remains consistent with the observation that prefixes and prepositions differ morphosyntactically.
Proceedings of the 26th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Charles B. Chang and Hannah J. Haynie
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