The independence of phonology and morphology: the Celtic mutations


  • Antony D. Green



One of the most important insights of Optimality Theory (Prince & Smolensky 1993) is that phonological processes can be reduced to the interaction between faithfulness and universal markedness principles. In the most constrained version of the theory, all phonological processes should be thus reducible. This hypothesis is tested by alternations that appear to be phonological but in which universal markedness principles appear to play no role. If we are to pursue the claim that all phonological processes depend on the interaction of faithfulness and markedness, then processes that are not dependent on markedness must lie outside phonology. In this paper I will examine a group of such processes, the initial consonant mutations of the Celtic languages, and argue that they belong entirely to the morphology of the languages, not the phonology.






Green, Antony D. 2003. „The Independence of Phonology and Morphology: The Celtic Mutations“. ZAS Papers in Linguistics 32 (Januar):47-86.