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Bidirectional Syntax-Phonology Interfaces in Italian Word Order

A long-standing issue in linguistics is how the various subsystems of language interact. In this work, I examine the syntax-phonology interface more specifically, finding evidence for a bidirectional relationship between these systems rather than a unidirectional influence of syntax on phonology. Using corpus methods, I probe phonological markedness effects on word order in Italian {noun, adjective} pairs. Specifically, I look at effects of stress clash, phonological weight (here length, as in Heavy NP Shift), and vowel hiatus. I predict that the order of {noun, adjective} is manipulated to avoid stress clash within pairs, light-final NPs, and instances of vowel hiatus within pairs. Evidence of these phonological effects on word order in Italian supports my hypothesis that there is bidirectional influence at the interface between syntax and phonology.

Date

2020

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