An Optimality-Theoretical Analysis of a Novel Morphological Process in Rasta Talk


The speech of members of the Rastafari community (originating in Jamaica) exhibits various linguistic innovations, including garden-variety extensions of productive morphological patterns to produce neologisms like upful “positive” or livity “lifestyle”, as well as examples of punning/word-playlike politricks “politics”. This speech variety, often called Rasta Talk also exhibits examples of more unusual linguistic innovations, known as ‘I-words’, such as Iration “creation” and Yood “food”, both part of larger systems of morphological transformations. I present an Optimality Theoretic treatment which handles apparent exceptional patterns in I-word creation.

5 Jan 2018 10.30 AM — 12.00 PM
Grand America Hotel, Salt Lake City, Utah
Benjamin Slade
Benjamin Slade
Associate Professor of Linguistics

My research interests include formal semantics and syntax, historical linguistics, South Asian and Caribbean languages, and the use of computational concepts in formal linguistics.