Prefixal 'suffixes' in Skou

Mark Donohue

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Skou, a language of North-Central New Guinea, shows agreement on verbs by what appear to be monoconsonantal prefixes. A detailed analysis shows that the morphemes must be considered to be aligned to the right edge of the word, but are realized further left due to strict phonotactic constraints. Furthermore, the phonotactic constraint that dictates against the right-aligned morphemes appearing as suffixes, NoCoda, is the same one that is famously responsible for the infixation of left-aligned morphemes in Austronesian languages, showing that not only is right-edge aligned infixation perhaps not quite as rare as has been thought, but that it is governed by the same phonotactic constraints that determine left-aligned infixation. A historical motivation for this unusual alignment change is discussed, with a cautionary note on the use of underanalysed data in typological work.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)139-170
    JournalAustralian Journal of Linguistics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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