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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Irregularity in Japanese Honorifics

  • Author(s): Thompson, Anie
  • et al.

This article examines suppletion and feature-conditioned allomorphy in Distributed Morphology. It discusses some empirical commonalities among these kinds of allomorphy, and then examines how they could be accounted for in DM. It then moves on to a particular case of irregularity, the Japanese verbal honorific. Some of these honorifics are shown to fit the criteria for suppletion and feature-conditioned allomorphy. However, it is then shown that the common notion of the cycle within DM cannot treat these honorifics as cases of allomorphy, suggesting that the phonological cycle must be larger than the version argued for in Embick 2010.

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