On March 10th, 2022, department member Borja Herce will give a talk at the LiZZ Doctoral Colloquium, RAA-E-29, 4.15-6 p.m.
Romance verbal inflection, and stem alternation in particular, has become in recent years one of the most important objects of analysis in the Autonomous Morphology literature. Paradigmatic structures like 'morphomes' (Aronoff 1994, Maiden 2018) are claimed to constitute abstract templates, at odds with phonology and syntax/semantics, that regulate which paradigm cells may share a stem and which are likely to partake in the same analogical innovations. Because most efforts to date have focused on describing and discussing the various alternations and the changes that prove the existence of these structures, their links to other well-established structuring principles in morphology (e.g. frequency of use, feature structure) have been largely neglected. In my talk I will discuss how frequency modulates the productivity of stem alternations in Romance verbs, with more frequent cells and lexemes more prone to alternation. I will also discuss a novel pattern of alternation (S-morphome) that consists of morphological shortenings of the stem and which illustrates clearly the importance of both predictability and frequency in the evolution of stem alternations in the family.