The aim of this study is to clarify the two properties of Malay hypocoristic word formation: length determination and segmental alternations. We collected 211 Malay hypocoristic words from one female Malay speaker, and descriptively generalized and theoretically analyzed these two properties. As for the length determination, it turns out that Malay hypocoristics are either monosyllabic or disyllabic. For example, Azrin is truncated to a monosyllabic form Rin, whereas Marniyati is shortened to a disyllabic form Yati. Default length is disyllabic, but monosyllabicity occurs in restricted environments. As for the segmental alternation, some segments in base names are altered to other segments in their hypocoristic forms. For example, [f] is changed to [p], such that Saiful is truncated to Pul and Suffian is truncated to Pian. Segmental structure usually becomes less marked in hypocoristic forms, but it becomes more marked in restricted environments. From the perspective of Optimality Theory, it will be claimed that both the length determination and the segmental alternation can be captured as The Emergence of The Unmarked (TETU) phenomenon, basically as in other languages, but that they involve anti-faithfulness effects in restricted environments.


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pp. 534-547
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