Paradigm uniformity and the locus of derivation: The case of vowel epenthesis in Hebrew verbs

Lior Laks, Evan Gary Cohen, Stav Azulay-Amar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This study examines vowel epenthesis in Hebrew verbs with stem-medial glottals. The stem-internal epenthetic vowels of these verbs colloquially display variation in 3rd person feminine forms in some verb templates. While the normative epenthetic vowel in these cases is a, there are cases where it is colloquially e. We provide empirical evidence for the variation (or lack thereof), accounting for the differences 2 among verb templates and the variation by appealing to paradigmatic faithfulness constraints, and grammatical components deriving verbs. We argue that vowel selection is motivated by competing faithfulness to three different paradigms: other feminine 3rd person forms, base forms, and the general inflectional paradigm. The component of the grammar deriving verbs, lexicon vs. syntax, as well as the way verbs are stored in the lexicon, determine which paradigmatic relation is relevant in different cases. The results of this study show the importance of paradigm accessibility in morpho-phonological processes. In addition, they point to a high correlation between the degree of variation in such processes and the locus of application and storage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.


  • Basic vs. derived entries
  • Epenthesis
  • Hebrew
  • Lexicon-syntax interface
  • Paradigms
  • Valence
  • Verb


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