Morphology or phonology?

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This paper discusses the issue of the Hungarian infinitive suffix that has as many as eight surface shapes occurring in the various inflected forms of the infinitive. The final conclusion is that the issue is best treated in terms of morphology (allomorph selection) and not in terms of morphophonological rules/constraints involving segment insertion and deletion, respectively. The bulk of the discussion is couched in Optimality Theoretic terms but an alternative treatment by Rebrus and Kálmán (2009) is also summarized and tentatively accepted in the final part of the paper. However, their alternative solution only serves to fill in the gaps left by the specific OT implementation proposed here: the general conclusion reached in this paper is not thereby undermined.


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