Non-linear morphology

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Non-linear morphology is a term which is used for theoretical frameworks in which the morphemes that make up a derived word are each represented at an independent, autonomous level of representation. These levels of representation are called (morphological) tiers or (morphological) planes. McCarthy (1979, 1981) has shown that this framework provides the necessary machinery to account for the intricate nonconcatenative morphology of Arabic languages. Furthermore, Marantz (1982) has shown that this framework is able to solve the long-standing problem of reduplication. Other terms used for this framework are Autosegmental Phonology/Morphology and Multilinear Phonology/Morphology.


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


  • Goldsmith, J. 1990. Autosegmental and Metrical Phonology, Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Marantz, A. 1982. Rereduplication, Linguistic Inquiry 13, pp. 435-482
  • McCarthy, J. 1981. A prosodic Theory of Nonconcatenative Morphology, Linguistic Inquiry 12, pp. 373-418
  • McCarthy, J. 1979. Formal problems in Semitic phonology and morphology, PhD diss., distr. by Indiana University Linguistics Club. Published by Garland Press, New York, 1985.
  • McCarthy, J. and A. Prince 1990. Foot and word in prosodic morphology: the Arabic broken plural, Natural language and linguistic theory 8, 209-284, .
  • McCarthy, J. and A. Prince 1986. Prosodic Morphology, ms. Univ. of Massachusetts, Brandeis Univ.
  • Spencer, A. 1991. Morphological Theory, Blackwell, Oxford.