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Intervocalic - v - Deletion in Tamil: Evidence for Aspect as a Morphological Category
Harold F. Schiffman
Journal of the American Oriental Society
Vol. 113, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1993), pp. 513-528
Published by: American Oriental Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/605783
Page Count: 16
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Tamil possesses a rule of intervocalic - v - deletion that has eluded systematic attempts at formulation because of the diverse morphological and syntactic environments in which it occurs. The problem is complex, since there are underlying - v-s in some lexemes that are deleted, but -v- is also introduced in inflection and in syntax by a sandhi rule. The theory of Lexical Phonology (LP) offers some insights into a number of phonological processes that have hitherto been thought of as irregular, and its application to Tamil seems to shed some light on -v- deletion, showing it to be quite regular after some other phonological processes have occurred. The application of LP to these data gives evidence that certain supposedly syntactic processes in Tamil, such as verbal aspectual marking, must be considered instead to be part of derivational morphology rather than part of syntax.
Journal of the American Oriental Society © 1993 American Oriental Society