On the status of non-iterativity in feature spreading

Adam G. McCollum, Darya Kavitskaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In many cases, feature spreading is iterative, applying to all licit targets within a given domain. Early work within rule-based theories developed explicit mechanisms to induce both iterative and non-iterative patterns (e.g., Howard 1973; Anderson 1974). The issue of (non)iterativity has not received as much attention in more recent work, with the notable exception of Kaplan (2008), which argues that both iterativity and non-iterativity are emergent concepts, and are always derivable from other forces at work in the grammar. In this paper, we examine the status of noniterativity, drawing on production data from Crimean Tatar. We argue that, in line with previous descriptions of the language, rounding harmony is truly non-iterative in the Central dialect, and not derivable from other, independent patterns in the language. We also briefly discuss data from several other languages that exhibit non-iterative spreading. We contend that the presence of these patterns demands a formal account, and we discuss the analysis of non-iterativity in both rule- and constraint-based theories, discussing their different predictions for the typology of feature spreading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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