Phonological constraints on morphology: Evidence from Old English nominal inflection

E. Adamczyk, A.P. Versloot

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


Studying the complex interaction between phonological and morphological developments involved in the extensive reorganisation of nominal inflection in early English, we focus, primarily, on new inflectional endings that emerged by analogy in etymologically suffix-less paradigm forms of r-stems and root nouns. We argue that the analogical changes were essentially reactive to phonological developments, and to a large extent predictable in statistical terms. Investigating correlations in corpus data, we identify the factors that affected the probability that new analogical endings were adopted. The predictors of the directions of analogical change that we show to be robust include the syllable structure of the root, the salience of inherited and analogical inflectional markers, as well as their absolute and relative frequencies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-176
JournalFolia Linguistica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2019


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