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What Else Happens to Opaque Rules?

Sarah G. Thomason
Language
Vol. 52, No. 2 (Jun., 1976), pp. 370-381
DOI: 10.2307/412565
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/412565
Page Count: 12
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What Else Happens to Opaque Rules?
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Abstract

In discussing rule opacity as a factor influencing phonological change, Kiparsky 1971 mentions three common fates of opaque rules within the phonological system: loss; re-ordering with respect to other rules to yield greater transparency; and morphologization. In this paper I discuss another sort of systematic reaction to the presence of an opaque rule, a reaction that has so far been overlooked in the discussion of rule opacity: the elimination of opacity-inducing environments in inflectional paradigms through analogic affix replacements. I argue that effects of this sort will continue to be overlooked until we recognize, and deal explicitly with, non-phonological aspects of inflectional change.

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