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Book: Harmonic Grammar and Harmonic Serialism

Chapter: 11. Cyclicity and Non-cyclicity in Maltese: Local Ordering of Phonology and Morphology in OT-CC

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.24951


This chapter addresses an exception to a classic example of the cycle in phonology. In Maltese, syncope cyclically underapplies in consonant-final verb stems with object suffixes, but applies in a non-cyclic, surface-transparent manner in vowel-final verb stems. Such situations are challenging for traditional frameworks where the serial order of phonology and morphology is directly built into the modular architecture of the grammar. Instead, a satisfactory treatment requires a theory in which phonology-morphology ordering relations are chosen by the grammar with respect to potentially conflicting pairwise preferences. An analysis is given using Optimal Interleaving (OI), an extension of McCarthy’s (2007) OT with Candidate Chains (OT-CC), a framework that has this property.

Chapter Contributors

  • Matthew Wolf ( - mwolf) 'Yale University'