Volume 30, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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Within standard generative phonology, the distribution of the allomorphs of the Italian masculine definite article has been related strictly to features of the initial segment/cluster of the lexical item following the article. Two main drawbacks characterize such analysis. First, they crucially depend on abstract principles, which are not applied in a very insightful and empirically convincing fashion. Second, they cannot explain the (inter- and intra-) individual variation in the selection of the allomorphs or the changes in their distributional pattern. Conversely, an analysis based on the usage-based framework proposed by Bybee (2001) allows for a more straightforward and unified account of the distribution of the allomorphs and offers new insight to the issues of change and individual variation.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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