Copy but don't repeat: the conflict of dissimilation and reduplication in the Tawala durative 1

Catherine Hicks Kennard a1
a1 University of Arizona

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In this article I provide an account of the durative aspect morpheme in Tawala, an Austronesian language spoken in Papua New Guinea. Within the framework of Optimality Theory (McCarthy & Prince 1993a, Prince & Smolensky 1993), I show that the three different reduplicant shapes, previously accounted for through the use of three separate templates, actually arise from the dynamic between the drive to copy, in terms of reduplication, and the drive to dissimilate at the level of the syllable. Central to my analysis is *REPEAT (Yip 1995, 1998), a constraint prohibiting identical adjacent syllables between the reduplicant and its stem.

(Published Online April 8 2005)


1 I am indebted to the following people for their insight and scrutiny of several versions of this paper: Diana Archangeli, Mike Hammond, Jason Haugen, Rachel Hayes-Harb, Bob Kennedy, Diane Ohala and Adam Ussishkin. Thanks to the editors, an associate editor and three anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions on an earlier draft of this paper. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Southwest Workshop in Optimality Theory (2002). I would like to thank members of that audience, in particular Colleen Fitzgerald, Bruce Hayes, Scott Myers and Jason Riggle, for their insightful comments and suggestions. I express my sincere gratitude to Bryan and Janet Ezard for their knowledge and help in understanding important details of Tawala. Finally, I express my gratitude to members of the University of Arizona Department of Linguistics seminar on prosody (2003) and other members of the department who have given me feedback at various stages in the development of the analysis, particularly Luis Barragan, Ana Carla Bruno, Andrew Carnie, Tania Granadillo, Heidi Orcutt and Andrew Wedel. All errors herein are the sole responsibility of the author.