The prosodic morphology of iteratives in Jamaican Creole

John Alderete


The input of a reduplicative word formation process in Jamaican Creole (JC) is restricted prosodically. In this paper, the prosodic restrictions are analyzed in terms of constraints that are generally operative in JC prosody. The study therefore provides empirical support for the Prosodic Morphology Hypothesis of McCarthy & Prince 1986. Investigation of the constraints operative in JC prosody leads to two further theoretical conclusions. First, on the basis of stress facts and various morphophonological phenomena, it is argued that the JC foot is a moraic trochee, a member of a restrictive inventory of foot types. Second, the analysis of various restrictions on the reduplicative base requires a loosening of the principles governing the layering of prosodic categories within in hierarchical structure.

Keywords: stress, prosodic morphology, reduplication, Jamaican Creole

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Full citation: Alderete, John. 2000. The prosodic morphology of iteratives in Jamaican Creole. In Elena Benedicto (ed.), University of Massachusetts Occasional Papers 20, Indigenous languages, pp. 29-50. Amherst: Graduate Linguistic Student Association. [Revised 1993 Masters paper from the University of California, Santa Cruz]