Copying prosodic constituents
The weight of a syllable-sized reduplicant is never dependent on the syllabification of the base -- that is, no language has a reduplicative morpheme that copies a coda in [pat-pat.ka] but no coda in [pa-pa.ta]. Yet this behavior is attested in the second syllable of foot-sized reduplicants: [pa.ta-pa.ta.ka], [pa.tak-pa.tak.ta]. Why is dependence on base syllabification possible in foot-sized reduplicants, but not in syllable-sized ones?
This article provides an answer to that question in the form of a novel theory of reduplication called Serial Template Satisfaction (STS), which is situated within Harmonic Serialism (a derivational variant of Optimality Theory). In STS, a reduplicative template of type X can be filled by copying constituents of type X-1 from the base. A foot-sized reduplicant can be filled by copying syllables, but not a syllable-sized reduplicant, which must be filled by copying segments. Lacking base-reduplicant correspondence constraints, STS has no way of forcing segment copying to depend on base syllabification, so it cannot produce the unattested pattern.
This article also fleshes out STS as a general theory of reduplication that can be compared to other approaches in Optimality Theory and rule-based phonology. Phenomena discussed include reduplicant size, locality, and identity of base and reduplicant.
John J. McCarthy, Wendell Kimper, and Kevin Mullin. 2010. "Copying prosodic constituents" The SelectedWorks of John J. McCarthy
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/john_j_mccarthy/105