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      Mincing words: Balancing recovery and deletion in word truncation

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          Abstract

          Brazilian Portuguese exhibits word truncation: e.g., the word cruzeiro ‘cruise’ results in the truncated form cruza, where the vowel - a is added to the truncated stem cruz-. Gonçalves ( 2011) claims that truncated words preserve the onset of the rightmost syllable of the first binary foot. We argue from a corpus-based perspective instead that the truncated stem is better predicted by optimizing two opposing forces: original word recovery and phonological deletion. These are formalized and implemented as right-complete counts (RC) and left-complete counts (LC), based primarily on the analysis of blends and subtractive word formation in Gries ( 2006) and taking into consideration the informativity of the deleted material as well as the preserved material. Specifically, a model incorporating both RC and LC outperforms one that uses only one or the other, as well as prosodic models based on binary feet, in predicting truncated stems in Brazilian Portuguese. Beyond truncation, our model has implications for morpheme segmentation as well as the mechanics of morphological reanalysis.

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          Most cited references21

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          Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics

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            From Phoneme to Morpheme

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              Handbook of word-formation

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2397-1835
                Glossa: a journal of general linguistics
                Ubiquity Press
                2397-1835
                16 March 2018
                2018
                : 3
                : 1
                : 36
                Affiliations
                [1 ]University of Chicago, 1115 East 58th street, Chicago, IL 60637, US
                Author information
                http://orcid.org/0000-0002-3344-6776
                Article
                10.5334/gjgl.269
                ea24848f-5da3-4936-bdaa-552b133f3cde
                Copyright: © 2018 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                History
                : 27 September 2016
                : 21 October 2017
                Categories
                Research

                General linguistics,Linguistics & Semiotics
                Brazilian Portuguese,morphology,segmentation,optimization,recoverability,truncation

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