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Relation between prosody and morphology
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All lexical morphemes must constitute well-formed prosodic words in Dutch, i.e. they must be composed of one or more well-formed syllables. Moreover, any lexical morpheme in Dutch must have at least one full vowel, i.e. a vowel other than schwa[ə], and must not begin with schwa[ə]. The full vowel is obligatory since schwa cannot carry main stress in lexical words. In contrast, function words may contain schwa as the only vowel, as for example in een/ən/a. Therefore, they do not form independent prosodic words.

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[+] Mismatch of prosodic and morphological structure

Prosodic structure and morphological structure are not necessarily in a 1-to-1 relationship (Booij 1995:49). Most so-called cohering suffixes fuse with the stem to which they are attachted, i.e. these suffixes do not form a syllabification domain of their own. To illustrate, the morphologically complex word handen/hɑndən/hands consists of the morpheme hand/hɑnd/[hɑnt]hand and the plural morpheme -en/ən/plural suffix. The suffix attaches to the stem and together they form one syllabification domain. As a result, the final consonant /d/ of hand gets syllabified as the onset of the second syllable. Syllable-final devoicing fails to apply as the obstruent is not attached to a coda position. The mismatch of prosodic structure and morphological structure is illustrated in the following figure:


Figure 1

[click image to enlarge]

Prefixes and (weak forms of) determiners, pronouns and adverbs are dominated by syllable nodes but not by prosodic word nodes. As a result, syllable-final consonants of prefixes and (weak forms of) determiners, pronouns and adverbs do not get re-syllabified when combined with vowel-initial stems as can be seen in vereisen[ver][eisen]/vər-ɛisən/[vər.ˈɛisən]demand (contrary to the Maximal onset constraint).

Another class of Dutch suffixes shows some exceptional behaviour in that these suffixes prosodify independently from the stem to which they are attached to. These so-called non-cohering suffixes form prosodic words of their own. Examples of non-cohering suffixes are:

Example 1

-achtig /ɑxtəx/ -like
-baar /bar/ -able
-dom /dɔm/ -dom
-heid /hɛid/ -ness
-ling /lɪŋ/ -ling
-loos /los/ -less
-schap /sxɑp/ -ship

Evidence for their prosodic word status comes from the phonological process of Prevocalic schwa deletion: schwas are deleted before vowels to avoid hiatus as illustrated in zijden[[zijde]en]/zɛidə+ən/[zɛidən]silken, which is derived from the noun zijde/zɛi.də/silk. In contrast, in the adjective zijdeachtig[zijde][-achtig]/zɛidə-ɑxtəx/[zɛidəɑxtəx]silky the final schwa of the stem is kept when combined with the non-cohering suffix.

In compounds, each constituent forms an independent prosodic word. This is illustrated in the example handappel[[hand][appel]]/hɑnd-ɑpəl/[ˈhɑnt.ɑpəl]desert apple, a compound that consists of the two constituents hand/hɑnd/hand and appel/ɑpəl/apple - both of which get independently prosodified into prosodic words, which then form a recursive prosodic word (ω'). Since the prosodic word is the domain of syllibification, the syllable-final /d/ in hand surfaces as [t] as a result of (syllable-) final devoicing.


Figure 2

[click image to enlarge]

In contrast, complex words that are no longer semantically transparent may be prosodified as one unit. For example, the noun aardappel[aardappel][ˈardapəl]potato is no longer understood as some sort of appelapple. According to Booij (1995), it has no morphologically complex structure and gets syllabified as a monomorphemic word. As a consequence, the final consonant of aard(e)earth is assigned to the onset position of the second syllable and fails to devoice. This is illustrated in the following figure:


Figure 3

[click image to enlarge]

As illustrated in figures (2) and (3), the prosodic structure of compounds like handappeldesert apple and monomorphemic words like aardappelpotato differ. In compounds, we find the adjunction of a prosodic word to a recursive prosodic word (ω'); whereas in monomorphemic words, we find the adjunction of a foot to a recursive prosodic word (ω'). Since both words comprise of two feet each, we find two stresses in both examples, with the first one being more prominent (see compound stress).

[+] Gapping

A final argument for a possible mismatch between prosodic and morphological structure comes from gapping, i.e. conjunction reduction in complex words. In complex words such as appel- en perenoogst[[[appel][oogst]] en [[[peer]en][oogst]]]apple and pear harvest or appel- of peervormig[[[appel][[vorm]ig]] of [[peer][[vorm]ig]]]apple or pearshaped, the identical parts oogstharvest or -vormig-shaped may be gapped since they form prosodic words of their own and are adjecent to the conjunction (see Booij (1995: 50-52) for more details on that matter). Non-cohering suffixes, which also form prosodic words on their own, allow for the same phenomenon as illustrated in the word appel- of peerachtig[[[appel]achtig] of [[peer]achtig]]apple or pearlike. In contrast, cohering suffixes cannot be omitted since they do not form prosodic words of their own - so rodig of groenig[[rood]ig] of [[groen]ig]reddish or greenish cannot be reduced to *rood- of groenig.

Rightward gapping is also possible in Dutch. In bio-appels en -peren[[[bio][[appel]s]] en [[bio][[peer]en]]]organic apples and pears the second occurrence of the (identical) part bioorganic can be left out since it forms a prosodic word and is adjacent to the conjunction. In contrast, identical prefixes like in befietsen of belopento cycle on or to walk on cannot be reduced to *befietsen of -lopen due to the fact that prefixes do not form prosodic words (Booij 1995: 51). However, exceptional cases like heranalyseren en -designenreanalyse and redesign instead of heranalyseren en herdesignen can sporadically be found.

References:
  • Booij, Geert1995The phonology of DutchOxfordOxford University Press
  • Booij, Geert1995The phonology of DutchOxfordOxford University Press
  • Booij, Geert1995The phonology of DutchOxfordOxford University Press
  • Booij, Geert1995The phonology of DutchOxfordOxford University Press
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