Network Core Mechanisms of Exponence

Kenstowicz, Michael (1996)


This influential paper was one of the first to argue for the replacement of the cycle by relationships of output-output correspondence. The paper broached many of the theoretical questions and looked at several of the empirical phenomena that were later to be hotly debated by both proponents and critics of output-output correspondence. Kenstowicz admits both asymmetrical output-output correspondence (‘Base Identity’) and symmetrical output-output correspondence (‘Uniform Exponence’). He suggests that, in many cases, asymmetric base-identity effects follow from relationships of morphosyntactic containment in which a substring of a complex form surfaces as an independently occurring output (the ‘isolation form’). Similarly, he claims that, in symmetrical output-output effects, the direction of levelling is normally determined by the independent ranking of markedness and input-output faithfulness constraints. Crucially, however, Kenstowicz acknowledges exceptions: i.e. instances of unexpectedly asymmetrical effects in which the privileged ‘base’ does not meet the containment criterion. Kenstowicz’s main argument against the cycle is that it cannot capture the type of symmetrical effect falling under the heading of Uniform Exponence. However, many of Kenstowicz’s examples of the latter have been rejected by other scholars: e.g. Benua (1997) argues that the levelling of Latin rhotacism involved diachronic input restructuring, rather than synchronic morphosyntactic conditioning.

authorKenstowicz, Michael
titleBase-identity and uniform exponence: alternatives to cyclicity
editorDurand, Jacques and Laks, Bernard
booktitleCurrents trends in phonology: models and methods
publisherEuropean Studies Research Institute, University of Salford


    author = {Kenstowicz, Michael},
    year = {1996},
    title = {Base-identity and uniform exponence: alternatives to cyclicity},
    booktitle = {Currents trends in phonology: models and methods},
    editor = {Durand, Jacques and Laks, Bernard},
    address = {Salford},
    publisher = {European Studies Research Institute, University of Salford},
    pages = {363-393},
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