This paper presents a uniform analysis of several cross-linguistic cases of variable outputs in reduplication, focusing primarily on apparent cases of free variation in reduplicated forms of Tagalog and Ndebele verbs. The paper claims that the reduplicant in these languages is a Lowering morpheme and posits a revised theory of post-syntactic Lowering in which multiple levels within a complex head may be targeted as landing sites for a Lowering head (cf. Embick and Noyer 2001). This potential variation in post-syntactic hierarchical structure gives rise to the observed surface variations when combined with a prosodic template model of reduplication (Marantz 1982) and a cyclic view of Vocabulary Insertion under Distributed Morphology (Halle and Marantz 1993). Furthermore, the paper illustrates in detail how both syntactic limitations and phonological output constraints (i.e. Optimality Theory, Prince and Smolensky 2004) work together to preclude ungrammatical constructions. In addition, it investigates the interaction of narrow syntactic phase constraints and post-syntactic transformations.
Proceedings of the 26th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Charles B. Chang and Hannah J. Haynie
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