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A description of Finnish male hypocoristics: an optimality theory approach
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Baltic Languages, Finnish and German.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4398-2107
2014 (English)In: Studia Anthroponymica Scandinavica, ISSN 0280-8633, Vol. 32, 139-168 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The formation of standard Finnish male nicknames in terms of Optimality Theory (OT) is described. Formation of these nicknames is subject to phonological, morphological, segmental and prosodic restrictions and often proceeds via suffixation of a truncated, left-anchoredstem, invariably producing a disyllabic, semantically narrow nicknamewith no coda, long vowels or diphthongs. Such foot binary-restricted items never include a second syllable onset. Disyllabic names are regularly shortened (CV.CV), while mono- and trisyllabic names often become geminate nicknames (CVC.CV) through expressive marking. Geminate names lose the coda consonant in the nickname. Very long names are truncated and sometimes take an additional suffix. Nicknames and their suffixes are strictly controlled to have either mixed harmonic back (a, o, u) and neutral front vowels (e, i), or only harmonic front vowels (y, ö, ä). Curious exceptions to the rules are found with names containing a word-internal sonorant, which therefore become uniquely suffixed nicknames through a Sonorant Sequencing Principle (SSP) constraint, leading to a three-consonant cluster and a shift of the sonorant from the syllable edge (CVCC.CV). Some nicknames have a limited geographical distribution (i.e. they are dialectal only), while a few others exhibit traces of diminutive markings. The data suggest the following ranking order for nickname formation in Finnish according to OT: FtBin >> SSP for resonant-containing or RlzRed for trisyllabic >>AnchorLeftBT >> NoLong-Vowel >> NoDiphthong >> NoCoda >>MaximalityBT.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 32, 139-168 p.
Keyword [en]
Finnish, hypocoristics, Optimality Theory, suffixation, sonority, gemination, disyllabic
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-115228OAI: diva2:796041
Available from: 2015-03-17 Created: 2015-03-17 Last updated: 2016-04-18Bibliographically approved

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Piispanen, Peter Sauli
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Department of Baltic Languages, Finnish and German
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