Colloquium: What determines morpheme order in the Athapaskan verb?

March 5, 3:30-5pm, Cobb 201
Keren Rice, University of Toronto

The surface order of morphemes in the verb word of Athapaskan languages has traditionally been considered to be idiosyncratic, stipulated by a template. In Rice 2000 I argued that what I called semantic scope plays an important role in the ordering of morphemes. Here I extend the account of morpheme ordering in the verb word, focusing on a series of problems that arise if scope alone is involved. I argue that if phonological factors are also taken into account, a systematicity to the complexities of morpheme ordering in the verb emerges, with morphemes being segregated by their phonological shapes, and, within these phonologically determined groups, scope plays a major role in the ordering of morphemes. I examine the principles that control the ordering in light of recent claims that functional principles such as parsability are key to morpheme ordering.