Morpheme details

Gloss

ftv.n

Slot

Allomorphy notes

Is longer counterpart of *-en. The distribution of the *-en and *-ene· allomorphs of this formative element may be stated in two ways:

), (
    ), (
  • *-ene· appears before an overt pluralizer; *-en appears when not followed by an overt pluralizer.
  • ), (
  • *-ene· appears before a consonant; *-en appears before a vowel. (Goddard 2007:254)
  • ), (
), (

The latter formulation is reminiscent of the conditioning of the allomorphs of the direct theme sign, which is realized as *-a· before a consonant and *-∅ before a vowel. For both the formative *-ene· and the theme sign *-a·, the morpheme-final long vowel disappears when followed by a vowel-initial morpheme.

), (

For the purposes of this long-vowel deletion rule, the class of "vowel-initial" morphemes includes the peripheral suffixes, such as *-a and *-aki (which cause a preceding formative *-ene· to surface as *-en), and the conjunct central suffixes, such as *-ak and *-e·kw (which cause a preceding theme sign *-a· to surface as null). The class of "vowel-initial" morphemes does not, however, include the formative elements *-en(e·), *-ehm (which do appear following the overt allomorph of the theme sign *-a·) or the pluralizers *-ena·n, *-enaw (which do appear following the long allomorph of the formative *-ene·).

), (

The linking e at the left edge of the latter two sets of morphemes thus evidently does not count as a vowel for the purposes of this rule. The failure of the linking vowel to trigger long-vowel deletion could be taken as evidence that the linking vowel is not present in the underlying representation and is instead an epenthetic vowel inserted by rule when suffixes such as *-hm and *-naw follow a consonant.

), (

(Alternatively, we could formulate the long-vowel deletion rule so that it is triggered by vowels such as a, a·, and e· but not by short e. However, this formulation seems to be ruled out by the fact that the conjunct impersonal suffix *-en does trigger the null allomorph of the direct theme sign.)