Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota Session




Commonly occurring linguistic forms, including allomorphs, tend to be learned (listed in speakers' mental lexicons) even if they are formed according to the pattern of a linguistic rule. They thus have dual motivation: the motivation given by the rule, and the suppletive motivation of their having been learned. This accounts for the otherwise inexplicable persistence of rule-governed allomorphy when the conditioning environment is destroyed through diachronic change, producing apparent positive exceptions to the rule.

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