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Title:Deverbal nominals in Kiswahili: Underspecification morphology and the lexicon
Author(s):Treece, Rick Everett
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Bokamba, Eyamba G.
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Language, Modern
Abstract:This study provides an explicit account of the lexical entries and rules required to generate five common types of Kiswahili nouns based on verbal roots and stems, as illustrated by the data below, all derived from -kata 'cut'. (UNFORMATTED TABLE OR EQUATION FOLLOWS)$$\vbox{\halign{#\hfil&&\enspace#\hfil\cr&a.&Action Nominals in -{\it o}:&{\it mkato/mikato\/}&`cut(s)'\cr&b.&Transitive Verbals in -{\it a}:&{\it mkata/wakata}&`cutter(s)'\cr&c.&Relic Agentives in -{\it i}:&{\it mkati/wakati}&`cutter(s)'\cr&d.&Productive Agentives in -{\it aji}:&{\it mkataji/wakataji}&`cutter(s)'\cr&e.&Patient Nominals in -{\it e}:&{\it mkate/mikate}&`lump(s), loaf/loaves'\cr}}$$(TABLE/EQUATION ENDS)
Underspecification Theory as developed by Archangeli & Pulleyblank (1986) is adopted to aid in this descriptive task. A rigorous analysis of the Kiswahili phoneme set is provided in this framework, with underspecified and fully specified representations of all phonemes as well as explicit default and complement rules. A detailed account of various types of prefix allomorphy is included, both for inherent nouns and for derived nominals.
The apparent simplicity of the data above is deceptive, even disregarding the account provided of the stem and suffix allomorphy associated with the Relic Agentives. Issues confronted in the description include semantic drift, blocking, percolation, questions of derivational source, and archaic roots. A particular focus of the study is to streamline the lexical entries by avoiding the explicit specification of redundant features of all kinds.
An innovation in the research is the application of the principles of Underspecification Theory beyond the phonology to capture redundancies in and among the morphological, semantic, and syntactic features and representations. To develop and illustrate this approach, a set of four binary morphological features is proposed to capture the Kiswahili noun-class system. A further innovation is the use of Lexical Cross-References (LXRefs) which capture generalizations relating to morphological complexes while allowing redundant information to be filled in automatically.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Treece, Rick Everett
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9114444
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9114444

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