• Ling-E: Infixation: Typology and Theory

    (Laura Kalin, Princeton University)

    Some background in Linguistics recommended

    Infixes are bound morphemes that appear inside of the stem they combine with, rather than preceding or following their stem. In this course, we will first explore the crosslinguistic landscape of infixation—how common are infixes, what do they look like, where do they go inside their stems, and what infixation patterns are systematically absent from the typological picture? Next we will survey theoretical approaches to infixation, focusing especially on differences among theories in terms of (i) whether infixation involves a preliminary step of prefixation/suffixation, and (ii) whether the phonological grammar (e.g., phonological optimization) plays a (synchronic) role in infix placement. Finally, we will add a new ingredient into the mix—allomorphy—and see how this can inform our view of how infixation works, thereby bringing novel typological data to bear on some long-asked theoretical questions.

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