Morphological self-repair: Self-repair within the word

Barbara A. Fox, Fay Wouk, Steven Fincke, Wilfredo Hernandez Flores, Makoto Hayashi, Minna Laakso, Yael Maschler, Abolghasem Mehrabi, Marja Leena Sorjonen, Susanne Uhmann, Hyun Jung Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study we explore patterns of same-turn self-repair within the word, across ten typologically and areally diverse languages. We find universal processes emerging through language-specific resources, namely: recycling is used to delay a next item due, while replacement is used to replace an inappropriate item. For example, most of our languages with prefixes or proclitics recycle those elements to delay production of the root/host, while languages with suffixes tend not to recycle just suffixes without their roots/hosts, since that would not serve to delay the production of the root/host; rather, the whole word is recycled. Replacement of affixes and clitics is rare, regardless of position. We provide several possible explanations for these facts, all based on the nature of replacement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)638-659
Number of pages22
JournalStudies in Language
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, number BCS0406512. We are grateful to two anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful comments.

Publisher Copyright:
© John Benjamins Publishing Company.


  • Morphological structure
  • Repair
  • Typology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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