pISSN: 1598-3293

영어영문학연구, Vol.62 no.3 (2020)
pp.237~262

DOI : 10.18853/jjell.2020.62.3.011

Asymmetrical Realizations of Inflectional Suffixes in English

Chung, Chin-Wan

(Jeonbuk National University)

This study focuses on non-uniform realizations of inflectional morphemes in English. The realizations of past and plural morpheme have traditionally been described as a simple case of progressive assimilation since both inflectional affixes seemingly show identical rightward direction of assimilation. However, when plurally inflected words are spoken by native speakers of English, the plural morpheme shows different realizations from those of the past tense morpheme. The problematic examples are noun stems ending in sonorants and voiced obstruents because such examples do not have any assimilatory motivations to change from the plural morpheme /z/ to [s]. Such unexpected realizations of the /z/ to [s] are ascribed to factors like markedness and articulatory difficulties. In addition to these, the inflectional morpheme occurring in the post-consonantal final position of a word is very difficult to maintain its voicing. Thus, the realization of the /z/ to [s] can be understood as the improvement of markedness and easy of articulation along with less efforts compared to the past tense morpheme in English. A constraint-based analysis provided in this study takes into accounts such motivations and proposes a unified constraint ranking which can explain the realizations of both past tense and plural formation examples when words are used in sentences.
  동화; 굴절 접미사; 제약; 서열; 비대칭; 유표성;assimilation; inflectional suffixes; constraint; ranking; asymmetry; markedness

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