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Resolving Morpho-Phonological Alternation: Historical, Neurolinguistic, and Computational Approaches

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 MOR-PHON project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the MOR-PHON project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "MOR-PHON" about.

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Project "MOR-PHON" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: OXFORD
postcode: OX1 2JD

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Project website
 Total cost 2˙605˙261 €
 EC max contribution 2˙605˙261 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-AdG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-10-01   to  2021-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

In morpho-phonological alternations the shapes of morphemes differ between morphologically related word forms. In these alternations the morphological environment is also implicated (revére ~ réverence verb [iː] ~ noun [É›] and stress differ) unlike alternations which are conditioned only by the phonological environment. The opaque phonological relationship between morphologically related forms has been a long-standing challenge in theoretical, historical, psycho- and neuro-linguistics, and computational linguistics alike. Morpho-phonological alternations of all kinds have been analysed across the languages of the world; but fundamental questions have remained controversial or indeed unasked: â–ª Why do they exist in the first place and why are they so widespread? â–ª How do they come about and what is their diachronic time-course? â–ª How are they represented in mental lexicons and how are they processed? Rather than setting morpho-phonological alternations aside as irregularities of morphology (requiring individual listing and storing), we recognise certain kinds of them (stress shifts, feature changes, deletions, and tonal changes) as something universally to be expected in mental lexicons and as something the brains of speakers and listeners can easily handle. The position that we advocate is that morpho-phonological variants are not listed and stored independently, but rather are mapped onto single abstract representations. This is a controversial position, and its defence requires the systematic study of types of alternations and their histories, and precise hypotheses about the nature of mental representations. What distinguishes our approach is that we combine expertise in (a) theoretical and typological linguistics, (b) brain-imaging methods, and (c) computational modeling to shed light on our questions concerning the existence and cross-linguistic incidence of morpho-phonological alternations, their diachronic profiles, their processing and mental representation.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Kennard, H. & Lahiri, A.
Nonesuch phonemes in loanwords
published pages: , ISSN: 0024-3949, DOI:
Linguistics: an interdisciplinary journal of the language sciences 2019-09-02
2019 Linda Wheeldon, Swetlana Schuster, Christos Pliatsikas, Debra Malpass, Aditi Lahiri
Beyond decomposition: Processing zero-derivations in English visual word recognition
published pages: 176-191, ISSN: 0010-9452, DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2018.09.003
Cortex 116 2019-09-02
2019 Swetlana Schuster, Aditi Lahiri
Gradations of interpretability in spoken complex word recognition
published pages: , ISSN: 0028-3932, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.04.006
Neuropsychologia 2019-09-02
2018 Hilary S.Z. Wynne, Linda Wheeldon, Aditi Lahiri
Compounds, phrases and clitics in connected speech
published pages: 45-58, ISSN: 0749-596X, DOI: 10.1016/j.jml.2017.08.001
Journal of Memory and Language 98 2019-09-02
2019 Swetlana Schuster, Aditi Lahiri
Lexical gaps and morphological decomposition: Evidence from German.
published pages: 166-182, ISSN: 0278-7393, DOI: 10.1037/xlm0000560
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 45/1 2019-09-02
2018 Swetlana Schuster, Mathias Scharinger, Colin Brooks, Aditi Lahiri, Gesa Hartwigsen
The neural correlates of morphological complexity processing: Detecting structure in pseudowords
published pages: , ISSN: 1065-9471, DOI: 10.1002/hbm.23975
Human Brain Mapping 2019-06-13

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