Gallagher, Gillian, Maria Gouskova, and Gladys Camacho Rios. to appear. Phonotactic restrictions and morphology in Aymara. Glossa.
Nonlocal phonological interactions are often sensitive to morphological domains. Bolivian Aymara restricts the co-occurrence of plain, ejective, and aspirated stops within but not across morphemes. We document these restrictions in a morphologically parsed corpus of Aymara, where they hold as a strong statistical tendency. We further present two experiments with native Aymara speakers. In the first experiment, speakers are asked to repeat nonce words that should be interpreted as monomorphemic. Speakers are more accurate at repeating nonce words that respect the nonlocal phonotactic restrictions than nonce words that violate them. In a second experiment, some nonce words are interpetable as morphologically complex, while others suggest a monomorphemic parse. Speakers show a sensitivity to this difference, and repeat the words more accurately when they can be interpreted as having a morpheme boundary between two consonants that tend to not co-occur inside a morpheme. Finally, we develop a computational model that induces nonlocal representations from the baseline grammar. The model is triggered to posit projections when it notices that certain segments often co-occur when separated by a morpheme boundary but not a single segment. The model generates a full Maximum Entropy phonotactic grammar, which makes distinctions between attested and rare/unattested sequences in a way that closely aligns with the behavior of Aymara speakers.
The materials and code for the learner are available here.