Lexical Insertion Occurs in the Phonological Component
Matthew Wolf [+]
In many cases, the distribution of competing allomorphs is defined in terms of some phonological property of the surrounding environment. Considerable debate has taken place as to whether such allomorphy is resolved in the phonological or morphological component of the grammar. On the one hand, phonologically conditioned allomorphy often conspires with phonological processes or static phonological restrictions of the language, suggesting that both are driven by the same well-formedness constraints. On the other hand, many cases display a wholly or partially arbitrary character difficult to attribute to plausible phonological constraints. This chapter proposes that the conundrum be resolved by assuming that phonological constraints and morphological constraints on spell-out are integrated into a single grammar. This approach also predicts the existence of a variety of patterns, which the paper argues to be attested, in which the morphologically expected outcome is sacrificed to satisfy a phonological condition.