Linguistics Colloquium: Lori Repetti, Professor, Linguistics Stony Brook University, SUNY

NOV 12, 2020 | 4:15 PM TO 6:00 PM



Online Event


November 12, 2020: 4:15 PM-6:00 PM




Lori Repetti, Professor, Linguistics, Stony Brook University, SUNY presents:

The Role of Morphology in Epenthesis

Epenthesis has usually been viewed as a purely phonological phenomenon, whereby phonologically unmarked material is inserted to repair an illicit phonological structure (Kitto & de Lacy 1999). Several types of epenthesis deviate from the classical one, ranging from cases that are more phonetic in nature (Levin 1987, Hall 2006, Miatto 2020) to cases that are influenced by morphology and syntax (Viaplana & Lloret 1992, Lombardi 2002, Cardinaletti & Repetti 2008, Artes 2016, Moradi 2017, Petrovic 2018, Repetti 2020, J. Kim 2020). In this talk I discuss two types of non-canonical epenthesis. First, I examine cases of epenthesis which are motivated by phonology, but the quality of the epenthetic segment is morphologically conditioned (Moradi 2017): In San Marino (Northern Italy), illegal word-final clusters are syllabified either with default epenthetic [i] (nouns: /ojm/ > [ojmi] ‘elm’) or special epenthetic [ɐ] (3SG verbs: /dɔrm/ > [dɔ:rmɐ] ‘s/he sleeps’); the latter is the “default” in this particular context because it is the most frequent vowel in final position with 3SG/PL verbs. Second, I review cases of epenthesis in which the position of the inserted segment is influenced by morphology (J. Kim 2020): In Koryak, the position of epenthetic schwa depends on the morphemes involved: between some final clusters ([ta-macina-ŋ-ə-k] ‘repair a car’ /k/ = infinitive), and after others [ləqleŋ-k-ə] ‘in winter’ /k/ = locative). Previous approaches to these data invoke allomorphy, which puts no constraints on the form and position of the inserted segments, and hence miss a broad generalization: their quality and position are predictable within specific contexts. We take a novel approach: the notion of epenthesis is broadened to include a range of morphological factors.

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* The colloquium will be recorded and available for two weeks at