Workshop on Strata

July 20 2017, 13:00-19:00
Institut für Linguistik
H1 5.16 (Seminarraum), GWZ
Universität Leipzig


Stratal models of grammar share three basic assumptions: While the bundeling of these assumptions in its pure form is what defines Lexical Phonology (Kiparsky 1982, 1985) and its descendents (Stratal OT Kiparsky 2000, Bermúdez-Otero 2011 and Derivational OT, Rubach 2003) and to some degree specific lexicalist approaches to morphology (e.g. Paradigm Function Morphology, Stump 2001), all current research in grammatical theory embraces a substantial subset of this inventory, thus minimalist syntax (Chomsky 2001, 2008) is built on cyclicity and embedded domains (but refutes co-grammars) and Output-output correspondence retains cyclicity and cogrammars, but eschews embedded domains (Steriade 2008).

The goal of this workshop is to bring together everyone in the Leipzig linguistic community interested in the role of cyclicity, cogrammars and embedded domains, the internal structure of these mechanisms, their interaction, but also the potential to eliminate one or more of them.


13:00-13:20Jochen Trommer & Daniel GleimStratal Tone Allomorphy in Bari
13:20-13:40Andrew MurphyPhases and Asymmetries
14:00-14:20Siri Moen GjersøeA Strict Cycle Effect in Nuer
13:40-14:00Greg Kobele (1) Cyclicity from above (2) Semantic Strata
14:20-14:40Joanna ZaleskaStrata-dependent Opacity in Containment Theory
14:40-15:00Fabian HeckA Note on embedded V2 and the Wh-copy Construction in German
15:00-15:30Coffee Break
15:30-15:50Barbara StiebelsLexically induced Domains (Strata?): The Role of clause-embedding Predicates
15:50-16:10Daniel GleimDuke-of-York Epenthesis in Arapaho
16:10-16:30Zorica PuškarThe Condition on Agree Domains: On the Locality of φ-agreement
16:30-16:50Jude Awasom Nformi Cumulativity and Cyclicity in Limbum Associative Constructions
16:50-17:10Johanna Benz Phonologically conditioned Affix Order in Washo
17:10-17:30Eva ZimmermannStrength as an alternative to cycles
17:30-18:00Coffee Break
18:00-18:20Sandhya Sundaresan & Thomas McFaddenThe Countercyclicity of the EPP and the Status of Edges
18:20-18:40Joanna Zaleska & Karolina Broś Establishing Counterfeeding Relations for optional Processes
18:40-19:00Gereon MüllerProspects of Harmonic Serialism in Morphology


Johanna Benz: Phonologically conditioned affix order in Washo

In this talk, I argue that affix order in Washo is partially phonologically conditioned. Non-transitivity and semantic opacity in Washo affix order are caused by a stem-level violation of affix alignment, triggered by a high-ranked constraint against stressed stem-final syllables. The talk has two main goals: to reintroduce Washo as a case of phonologically conditioned affix order and to show that an analysis in Stratal Optimality Theory offers a particularly interesting set of options and restrictions in accounting for PCAO.

Fabian Heck: A note on embedded V2 and the wh-copy construction in German

It is an old debate in the literature on German syntax whether there is genuine extraction from embedded V2 clauses (and whether V2 clauses are truely embedded to begin with) or whether the relevant constructions should better be analyzed in terms of parenthesis. In the talk, I address the wh-copy construction in German and have a brief look at its potential relevance for this debate.

Greg Kobele:

(1) Cyclicity from above
Cyclicity (in syntax) is often presented as inextricably tied up with a bottom-up perspective on derivation. Some proposals argue that certain regularities are better expressed in a top-down manner. Such proposals should, I think, be understood in terms, not of different operations in the competence grammar, but, instead, of a top-down parsing process (implementing the bottom-up compentence operations). A recent proposal about (top-down) parsing in minimalist grammars has a non-trivial recursive structure, where the 'cycles' (qua recursion) are different from the usual bottom-up cyclical perspective.
(2) Semantic strata
Compositional semantics is usefully thought of as applying a homomorphism mapping syntactic structure to something semantic. Recent work has shown that not only can this semantic homomorphism be decomposed into a cascade of simpler, phenomenon-centric, homomorphisms, but that this cascade must be ordered in a particular way. For example, the homomorphism introducing dynamism must apply before the homomorphism introducing context-sensitivity, in order for the correct interaction between the two to obtain.

Siri Moen Gjersøe: A Strict Cycle Effect in Nuer

This talk discusses a strict cycle effect which arrises in tonal exponence of nominal inflection in Nuer (Western Nilotic). The main findings is that tone plays a major role in the nominal inflection where there are tonal exponents of plural and oblique case. An interesting pattern is attested in the oblique plural form. A grammatical tone can override a lexical tone but it cannot overwrite another grammatical tone. This is accounted for in a cyclic approach in the colored containment version of OT where epenthetic material cannot be made invisible.

Andrew Murphy: Phases and Asymmetries

In the standard approach to locality in Minimalism, clauses are divided into syntactic strata or ‘phases’ (Chomsky 2000, 2001). In monoclausal constructions, the assumption of a vP phase creates a structural asymmetry between subjects, which are base-generated at outside the phase, and objects, which are not. Interestingly, this correlates with empirical observations that subjects seem to be syntactically more ‘restricted’ than objects, e.g. with regard to extraction (Huang 1982) or certain distributional properties. In this talk, I explore how this structural asymmetry regarding the vP phase could be exploited to account for well-known subject/object asymmetries.

Gereon Müller Prospects of Harmonic Serialism in Morphology

The harmonic serialism version of optimality theory has been pursued for phonology (McCarthy (2008, 2010, 2017)) and syntax (Heck & Mueller (2007, 2016)). In this presentation, I consider the question of whether harmonic serialism might also be a viable framework for morphology. To this end, I look at two phenomena, viz., extended exponence (Matthews (1973)) and variation in affix order. I argue that extended exponence can be accounted for in harmonic serialism but not in standard parallel optimality theory; furthermore, the analysis turns out to be superior to an analysis based on strata (Caballero & Inkelas (2013), Kiparsky (1982, 2000)). I then show that Trommer's (2001, 2008) standard parallel optimaliaty theory account of affix order can be transferred to a harmonic serialist approach without problems. The analyses can be shown to be extensionally equivalent for the available data; however, ceteris paribus the serial approach systematically predicts the availability of intermediate stages that might give rise to opacity effects (in the sense of Kiparsky (1973)).

Jochen Trommer & Daniel Gleim: Stratal Tone Allomorphy in Bari

In this talk, we present a new type of empirical evidence that phonologically conditioned suppletive allomorphy must be captured by affix-specific subcategorization frames (Bye 2008, Embick 2010, Paster 2006, 2009, 2015) instead of phonological optimization (Kager 1996, Bonet et al. 2007, Wolf 2015) and may apply in different phonological cycles: tone allomorphs which are sensitive to the syllable number of their segmental bases, and differ in the timing of their association to segments (syllables). We interpret this pattern as a lexically idiosyncratic split of suppletive tone allomorphs with respect to their affiliation to morphophonological strata (Kiparsky 1982, 1985, 2000, Bermúdez-Otero 2011).

Joanna Zaleska: Strata-dependent opacity in Containment Theory

According to Containment Theory, phonetically unrealized input elements are present in the output and as such can exert influence on its shape. It has been shown that this assumption can help account for a wide array of data that pose a challenge to standard Optimality Theory, including phonological opacity. I show that if we adopt the representational assuptions developed in Trommer 2011 and the principle of Richness of the Base, some attested types of opacity ('counterbleeding by separation', 'counterfeeding by apposition') cannot be derived. However, this problem is alleviated if we curb RotB by recourse to stratal preprocessing (Trommer 2011:75).

Joanna Zaleska & Karolina Broś: Establishing counterfeeding relations for optional processes

Stratal Optimality Theory (Kiparsky 2000, Bermudez-Otero in preparation) makes the prediction that phonological opacity should only arise between strata while interactions between processes at the same stratum should be transparent. Although some postlexical processes seem to constitute apparent counterevidence, all of them are optional. Kiparsky (2015: 26) argues that 'opacity should be investigated with obligatory processes'. In particular, he claims that establishing a counterfeeding relation between optional processes is challenging because it is not clear whether the lack of application results from counterfeeding or simply optional non-application. We take up this challenge with Gran Canarian Spanish data showing apparent counterfeeding.

Call for Papers:

We invite proposals for presentations (title + a maximally 100-word abstract) by July 13 2017.


  • Bermúdez-Otero, R. (2011) The Architecture of Grammar and the Division of Labour in Exponence. In: Jochen Trommer (ed.) The Morphology and Phonology of Exponence - The State-of-the-Art. Oxford University Press.
  • Chomsky, N. (2001) Derivation by Phase. In: Michael Kenstowicz (ed.) Ken Hale: a life in language. Cambridge MA, MIT Press 1-52.
  • Chomsky, N. (2008) On phases. In: Robert Freidin and Carlos P. Otero and Maria Luisa Zubizarreta (ed.) Foundational issues in linguistic theory: essays in honor of Jean-Roger Vergnaud,. Cambridge MA, MIT Press 133-166.
  • Kiparsky, Paul (1982) Lexical morphology and phonology. I.-S. Yang (ed.) Linguistics in the morning calm. Seoul, Hanshin.
  • Kiparsky, Paul (1985) Some consequences of Lexical Phonology. Phonology Yearbook 2.82-138.
  • Kiparsky, Paul (2000) Opacity and cyclicity. The Linguistic Review 17:351- 367.
  • Steriade, D. (2008) A Pseudo- Cyclic Effect in Romanian Morphophonology. In: Asaf Bachrach and Andrew Nevins (ed.) Inflectional Identity. Oxford University Press 313-360.
  • Rubach, Jerzy (2003) Duke-of-York Derivations in Polish. Linguistic Inquiry 34 , 601-629. Stump, G. T. (2001) Inflectional Morphology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Contact

    Jochen Trommer
    Institut für Linguistik
    Universität Leipzig

    jtrommer [æt]

    Jochen Trommers Homepage