Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

The Origin and Spread of Velar Allomorphy in the Spanish Verb: A Morphomic Approach

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2015), 92, (5), 489–518.

Abstract

This article examines the origin and spread of the verbs which display a velar allomorph in Spanish and, in particular, the paradigmatic pattern which this allomorphy exhibits. I draw upon Maiden’s studies (1992, 2001b) of velar allomorphy in Italian and Spanish which define the different cells that display this allomorphy as an autonomous morphological structure, or morphome (Aronoff 1994) and I argue that the theoretical construct of the morphome offers a more convincing, rigorous and theoretically motivated account for the origin and spread of velar allomorphy in Spanish, as opposed to recourse to the word ‘analogy’. However, I maintain that Maiden’s conclusions for the spread of the velar in Italian are not entirely valid for Spanish since they predict the wrong result. I argue that the explanations offered by Maiden need to be nuanced, along with the concept of the morphome itself. More specifically, I argue that in Spanish the velar allomorph should not be considered as part of the lexical root but rather a semantically vacuous formative which is an allomorph of the verbal ‘endings’. I present evidence from within the history of Spanish to support this hypothesis.

Este trabajo examina el origen y la extensión de aquellos verbos que presentan un alomorfo velar en el verbo español (tengo, pongo, salgo) y se hace especial hincapié en la distribución paradigmática de este alomorfo. Hacemos referencia a los estudios de Maiden (1992, 2001b) sobre el español y el italiano en los que se define el conjunto de celdas paradigmáticas en las que aparece el alomorfo velar como una estructura puramente morfológica, o un morfoma (Aronoff 1994). Sostenemos que la noción teórica del morfoma ofrece una explicación más convincente y rigurosa para el origen y la extensión del alomorfo velar; además esta explicación tiene una justificación más teórica y no simplemente recurre a la analogía. Defendemos, sin embargo, que las conclusiones de Maiden para el español no son de todo válidas ya que producen resultados equivocados y proponemos que se ha de matizar la tesis de Maiden junto con la del morfoma. Específicamente, defendemos que en el español el alomorfo velar no se analizaba como un alomorfo de la raíz léxica sino de las terminaciones verbales y a este elemento no se le atribuía semántica alguna. Presentamos datos diacrónicos del español para apoyar nuestra hipótesis.

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Burzio, Luigi, 2004. ‘Paradigmatic and Syntagmatic Relations in Italian Verbal Inflection’, in Julie Auger, Clancy Clements and Barbara Vance (eds), Contemporary Approaches to Romance Linguistics (Amsterdam: Benjamins), pp. 17–44. Paradigmatic and Syntagmatic Relations in Italian Verbal Inflection Contemporary Approaches to Romance Linguistics1744 Google Scholar

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Egido Fernández, María, 1996. El sistema verbal en el romance leonés (León: Universidad de León). El sistema verbal en el romance leonés Google Scholar

Elvira, Javier, 1998. El cambio analógico (Madrid: Gredos). El cambio analógico Google Scholar

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Maiden, Martin, 1991. Interactive Morphonology: Metaphony in Italy (London: Routledge). Interactive Morphonology: Metaphony in Italy Google Scholar

Maiden, Martin, 1992. ‘Irregularity as a Determinant of Morphological Change’, Journal of Linguistics, 28: 285–312. Irregularity as a Determinant of Morphological Change Journal of Linguistics28285312 Google Scholar

Maiden, Martin, 2001a. ‘A Strange Affinity: “perfecto y tiempos afines”’, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, 78: 441–64. A Strange Affinity: “perfecto y tiempos afines” Bulletin of Hispanic Studies7844164 Google Scholar

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O’Neill, Paul, 2012. ‘New Perspectives on the Effects of yod in Ibero-Romance’, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, 89: 665–97. New Perspectives on the Effects of yod in Ibero-Romance Bulletin of Spanish Studies8966597 Google Scholar

Penny, Ralph, 2002. A History of the Spanish Language. 2nd ed. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press). A History of the Spanish Language Google Scholar

Real Academia Española, n. d. Banco de datos: Corpus de referencia del español actual (CREA). [Online.] Available at: http://www.rae.es [accessed September 2008]. Google Scholar

Williams, Edwin, 1962 [1934]. From Latin to Portuguese. Historical Phonology and Morphology of the Portuguese Language. 2nd ed. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press). From Latin to Portuguese. Historical Phonology and Morphology of the Portuguese Language Google Scholar

Aronoff, Mark, 1994. Morphology by Itself (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press). Morphology by Itself Google Scholar

Blevins, James P., 2006. ‘Word-based Morphology’, Journal of Linguistics, 42: 531–73. Word-based Morphology Journal of Linguistics 4253173 Google Scholar

Bourciez, Édouard, 1967. Éléments de linguistique romane. 5th edition. (Paris: Klincksieck). Éléments de linguistique romane Google Scholar

Burzio, Luigi, 2004. ‘Paradigmatic and Syntagmatic Relations in Italian Verbal Inflection’, in Julie Auger, Clancy Clements and Barbara Vance (eds), Contemporary Approaches to Romance Linguistics (Amsterdam: Benjamins), pp. 17–44. Paradigmatic and Syntagmatic Relations in Italian Verbal Inflection Contemporary Approaches to Romance Linguistics1744 Google Scholar

Bybee, Joan, 1985. Morphology: A Study of the Relation Between Meaning and Form (Amsterdam: Benjamins). Morphology: A Study of the Relation Between Meaning and Form Google Scholar

Egido Fernández, María, 1996. El sistema verbal en el romance leonés (León: Universidad de León). El sistema verbal en el romance leonés Google Scholar

Elvira, Javier, 1998. El cambio analógico (Madrid: Gredos). El cambio analógico Google Scholar

Fondow, Steven R., 2010. Spanish Velar-insertion and Analogy: A Usage-based Diachronic Analysis. PhD thesis; University of Ohio. Available at: https://etd.ohiolink.edu/rws_etd/document/get/osu1290438177/inline [accessed 17 April 2015]. Google Scholar

Kania, Sonia, 2011. ‘The Spread of the Velar Insert /g/ in Medieval Spanish Verbs’, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, 88.2: 129–59. The Spread of the Velar Insert /g/ in Medieval Spanish Verbs Bulletin of Hispanic Studies88.212959 Google Scholar

Lloyd, Paul, 1987. From Latin to Spanish, I: Historical Phonology and Morphology of the Spanish Language (Philadelphia, PA: American Philosophical Society). From Latin to Spanish, I: Historical Phonology and Morphology of the Spanish Language Google Scholar

Maiden, Martin, 1991. Interactive Morphonology: Metaphony in Italy (London: Routledge). Interactive Morphonology: Metaphony in Italy Google Scholar

Maiden, Martin, 1992. ‘Irregularity as a Determinant of Morphological Change’, Journal of Linguistics, 28: 285–312. Irregularity as a Determinant of Morphological Change Journal of Linguistics28285312 Google Scholar

Maiden, Martin, 2001a. ‘A Strange Affinity: “perfecto y tiempos afines”’, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, 78: 441–64. A Strange Affinity: “perfecto y tiempos afines” Bulletin of Hispanic Studies7844164 Google Scholar

Maiden, Martin, 2001b. ‘Di nuovo sulle alternanze velari nel verbo italiano e spagnolo’, Cuadernos de Filología Italiana, 8: 39–61. Di nuovo sulle alternanze velari nel verbo italiano e spagnolo Cuadernos de Filología Italiana83961 Google Scholar

Maiden, Martin, 2004. ‘Morphological Autonomy and Diachrony’, in Yearbook of Morphology, pp. 137–75. Morphological Autonomy and Diachrony Yearbook of Morphology13775 Google Scholar

Maiden, Martin, 2009. ‘From Pure Phonology to Pure Morphology: The Reshaping of the Romance Verb’, Recherches linguistiques de Vincennes, 38: 45–82. From Pure Phonology to Pure Morphology: The Reshaping of the Romance Verb Recherches linguistiques de Vincennes384582 Google Scholar

Maiden, Martin and Paul O’Neill, 2010. ‘Morphomic Defectiveness’, in Matthew Baerman, Greville Corbett, and Dunstan Brown (eds), Defective Paradigms: Missing Forms and What They Tell Us (London: OUP / British Academy), pp. 103–24. Morphomic Defectiveness Defective Paradigms: Missing Forms and What They Tell Us 103 24 Google Scholar

Malkiel, Yakov, 1971. ‘Derivational Transparency as an Occasional Co-determinant of Sound Change: A New Causal Ingredient in the Distribution of -ç- and -z- in Ancient Hispano-Romance’, Romance Philology, 25: 1–52. Derivational Transparency as an Occasional Co-determinant of Sound Change: A New Causal Ingredient in the Distribution of -ç- and -z- in Ancient Hispano-Romance Romance Philology25152 Google Scholar

Malkiel, Yakov, 1973. ‘New Problems in Romance Interfixation’, Romance Philology, 27: 304–55. New Problems in Romance Interfixation Romance Philology2730455 Google Scholar

Malkiel, Yakov, 1993. ‘The Problem of “The Old Spanish Sibilants”: Three Consecutive New-style Explanations’, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, 70: 201–11. The Problem of “The Old Spanish Sibilants”: Three Consecutive New-style Explanations Bulletin of Hispanic Studies7020111 Google Scholar

Martín Vegas, Ana Rosa, 2007. Morfofonología histórica del español: estudio de las alternancias /jé/ – /e/, /wé/ – /o/ y /Ø/ – /g/ (Munich, Germany: Lincom Europa). Morfofonología histórica del español: estudio de las alternancias /jé/ – /e/, /wé/ – /o/ y /Ø/ – /g/ Google Scholar

Menéndez Pidal, Ramón, 1941. Manual de gramática histórica española. 6th ed. (Madrid: Espasa-Calpe). Manual de gramática histórica española Google Scholar

O’Neill, Paul, 2010. ‘El morfoma en el asturiano: diacronía y sincronía’, in Ana María Cano González (ed.), Homenaxe a Xosé Lluís García Arías (Oviedo: Academia de la Llingua Asturiana), 1, pp. 319–48. El morfoma en el asturiano: diacronía y sincronía Homenaxe a Xosé Lluís García Arías 131948 Google Scholar

O’Neill, Paul, 2011a. ‘Alternancias vocálicas en el presente de los verbos en -ir. Un análisis desde la Morfología Autónoma’, Revista de la Historia de la Lengua Española, 6: 87–129. Alternancias vocálicas en el presente de los verbos en -ir. Un análisis desde la Morfología Autónoma Revista de la Historia de la Lengua Española687129 Google Scholar

O’Neill, Paul, 2011b. The Ibero-Romance Verb: Allomorphy and the Notion of the Morphome, unpublished D.Phil thesis; University of Oxford. The Ibero-Romance Verb: Allomorphy and the Notion of the Morphome Google Scholar

O’Neill, Paul, 2012. ‘New Perspectives on the Effects of yod in Ibero-Romance’, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, 89: 665–97. New Perspectives on the Effects of yod in Ibero-Romance Bulletin of Spanish Studies8966597 Google Scholar

Penny, Ralph, 2002. A History of the Spanish Language. 2nd ed. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press). A History of the Spanish Language Google Scholar

Real Academia Española, n. d. Banco de datos: Corpus de referencia del español actual (CREA). [Online.] Available at: http://www.rae.es [accessed September 2008]. Google Scholar

Williams, Edwin, 1962 [1934]. From Latin to Portuguese. Historical Phonology and Morphology of the Portuguese Language. 2nd ed. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press). From Latin to Portuguese. Historical Phonology and Morphology of the Portuguese Language Google Scholar

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O’NEILL, PAUL