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Output-to-output Correspondence and the Emergence of the Unmarked in Spanish Plural Formation

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Abstract

This paper argues for an epenthesis analysis of pluralization in Spanish in which the plural form is in an output-to-output (OO) relation to the singular. That plural formation involves an output-to-output correspondence relation can be justified because Spanish plural suffixes attach to the morphological word, after all derivational and inflectional morphemes, including terminal elements. The proposed analysis overcomes the difficulties faced by previous accounts and provides a direct explanation of the pluralization facts, based on the distinction between input and output faithfulness proposed by optimality-theoretic Correspondence Theory (Benua 1995, McCarthy 1995). More specifically, epenthesis of [e] in the plural reflects the emergence of the unmarked (McCarthy and Prince 1994) with respect to the constraint against coda consonants (*CODA). *CODA is usually violated in the singular because of the domination of DEP-IO (input-to-output faithfulness) over *CODA (markedness); in the plural, however, since the relevant faithfulness constraint (DEP-OO) is dominated by markedness (*CODA), *CODA effects become visible, demanding open syllables

References

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