Paradigmatic variation in Hungarian

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The main claim of this paper is that the locus of variation within a paradigm is not accidental. It occurs at unstable points of the paradigm where morphophonological patterns are in conflict. The paper discusses in detail two areas of variation in the Hungarian verbal paradigm: variation in some forms of verb stems that display vowel-zero alternation and variation in the marking of definiteness. This is analysed in an analogical framework where paradigmatic uniformity and contrast constraints apply between surface forms and variation arises as a result of the differential optimisation of conflicting constraints.


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